Parent group files petition to remove Loudoun County School Board vice chair

Ian Prior speaks about latest effort to remove embattled Loudoun County School Board members

FIRST ON FOX: The parent organization Fight for Schools has filed a petition to remove Loudoun County School Board Vice-Chair Atoosa Reaser, the third board member to face removal after a scandal involving a private Facebook group that launched a campaign against parents who oppose critical race theory in the classroom.

“The parents of Loudoun County are simply not going to stop utilizing their voices and the rule of law to make a change in our schools,” Ian Prior, a father and executive director at Fight for Schools, told Fox News in a statement on Thursday. “Our children deserve better than disrespectful bureaucrats that are more concerned with creating identity groups and building political activists than giving each child the ability to reach his or her unique potential.”

Fight for Schools formally filed a petition for Reaser’s removal in Loudoun County Circuit Court Thursday, with 1,859 signatures from residents in the Algonkian district, which Reaser represents.

Atoosa Reaser, vice-chair of the Loudoun County School Board, photo credit Loudoun County School Board

In order to remove an elected official in Virginia, petitioners must acquire a number of signatures equal to 10% of the votes cast in the previous election for that office. If a judge approves the petition, the Commonwealth’s Attorney prosecutes the case. Prior previously told Fox News that Fight for Schools had obtained 1,217 signatures against Board Chair Brenda Sheridan (152% of the required amount), 1,859 signatures against Reaser (153%), 2,979 of the signatures against Ian Serotkin (137%), and 13,336 signatures against Denise Corbo (124%). Fight for Schools filed the petitions against Sheridan on November 9.

Fight for Schools previously acquired enough signatures to challenge Beth Barts (Leesburg District) before she resigned. The court had allowed the case against Barts to proceed, but a judge barred Buta Biberaj, the county’s Commonwealth’s Attorney, from presiding over the case. Biberaj had expressed support for the district’s racial equity policies, which parents have faulted for inculcating critical race theory.

Ian Prior headshot
(Ian Prior)

Fight for Schools had initially collected 1,795 signatures for Reaser’s removal between May and October, but the organization drafted a new petition reflecting new issues pertinent to the claim that Reaser failed to carry out her duties on the board.

The petition effort began earlier this year, after reports emerged that members of a Facebook group called “Anti-Racist Parents of Loudoun County” had compiled a list of outspoken conservatives and opponents of critical race theory in order to track, hack, and “doxx” them. 

Many parents have opposed critical race theory (CRT) — a framework that involves deconstructing aspects of society to discover systemic racism beneath the surface — believing it to be divisive and racist. While many have insisted that Virginia’s schools do not teach CRT, various government documents contradict this narrative, including a contract showing that Loudoun County Schools paid more than $300,000 to The Equity Collaborative, which begins its trainings with an “Intro to Critical Race Theory.”

Opponents of the academic doctrine known as Critical Race Theory protest outside of the Loudoun County School Board headquarters, in Ashburn, Virginia, June 22, 2021. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein
(REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein)

Reaser did not leave the “Anti-Racist Parents of Loudoun County” Facebook group despite a sheriff’s office investigation into that group. She also remained a member of a second closed, viewpoint-restricted Facebook group called “Loudoun Parents, Teachers and Staff for Evidence-Based Safe Schooling.”

The petitions allege that Sheridan, Reaser, Serotkin, and Corbo failed to report “a campaign of targeted harassment sparked by Beth Barts’ March 12 Facebook post” in the Anti-Racist Parents group. The board members did not report the campaign to law enforcement, warn their constituents about it, denounce it, or abide by the school board’s requirement for transparency whenever school board members are gathered, the petitions claim.

Reaser did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

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