Beatty to be Stripped of Committee Posts

Following a two-hour closed session Tuesday night, Loudoun County School Board Chairwoman Brenda Sheridan (Sterling) announced that she would remove John Beatty (Catoctin) from his seat on the division’s Equity Committee and as chairman of the board’s Discipline Committee.

The action follows weeks of escalating tensions between the board and members of the Equity Committee, Minority Student Achievement Advisory Committee and the Loudoun Chapter of the NAACP who have pressed for sanctions against Beatty. 

Beatty came under fire for comments he made in February during an equity training program designed to allow participants to better understand concepts of white privilege and implicit bias—among the elements seen as fueling systematic racism in the school system. During the session, Beatty said formerly enslaved people may have been less well off after their emancipation without having their needs provided by the former slave owners. In the weeks that followed, the Equity Committee and MSAAC formally requested that Beatty be removed from his leadership positions because of the remark. 

The School Board remained silent on the issue until two weeks ago, when it formally voted to not consider the sanction request. That action came through a seldom used procedural mechanism that allowed the board to drop the issue without discussion. At the time, only Sheridan, who also chairs the Equity Committee, opposed that action.

During Tuesday’s board meeting, conducted as a video conference, two members—Vice Chairwoman Atoosa Reaser (Algonkian) and Harris Mahedavi (Ashburn)—apologized for supporting the move to avoid discussion of the issue. 

During the public comment portion of the meeting, Loudoun NAACP President Michelle Thomas and other speakers criticized that inaction as a broken trust in the effort to address inequities within the school system. 

Thomas said, because Beatty has refused to retract his statement in subsequent talks with concerned community leaders, that he should resign as a School Board member. 

School Board member Ian Serotkin (Blue Ridge) also has come under fire for making the May 19 motion to not consider the request to impose sanctions on Beatty. 

Aside from the Reaser and Mahedavi apologies issued Tuesday, school board members have not addressed the criticisms during their public meetings since the call for sanctions began in March. 

And they made no comments following Tuesday’s closed session, except for the statement by Sheridan that she would rescind the Beatty committee appointments she made in January.  Those actions do not require a formal board vote.

16 thoughts on “Beatty to be Stripped of Committee Posts

  • 2020-06-03 at 6:52 am

    This is what happens when you elect rats like Atoosa and they control they school board. Nothing changed from 2 weeks ago except Sheridan lobbying the classless acts we have on our school board now. Apologizing for a vote 2 weeks ago makes you weak and underprepared, unfit for office and especially unfit for Vice chair. Atoosa is another in a long line of Boysko’s, Wexton’s and Tran’s. We could of done much better and I vow to work harder comes next election so we aren’t saddled with members who have a yellow streak down their back.

    • 2020-06-03 at 7:54 pm

      White privilege is a myth. I grew up poor, worked at age 13, through high school, scholarship to college and had a job, paid my way via loans to law school, served in the military and have worked hard for 30 years. School Boards are targeted in Saul Alinsky’s manifesto on ruining America and which Democrats embrace. News flash, #lives matter of any race, religion, gender, etc.

  • 2020-06-03 at 8:13 am

    There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live-did live, from habit that became instinct-in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.

    • 2020-06-03 at 11:16 am

      Great, you read 1984. Good for you. This is a far cry from that and to insinuate otherwise is delusional and out of touch.

      Anyone who disagrees with this move is supporting racism, full stop.

      I tend to try to put myself in other peoples shoes and think about how I’d feel. So try that- if you were enslaved- forced to do manual labor, abused and beaten, had no rights whatsoever, could be raped or murdered on a whim, would you choose to be free and find your own way or remain a literal slave. If you have to even consider that choice then something is ether wrong with you or you aren’t really putting yourself in those shoes.

      • 2020-06-03 at 5:03 pm

        Let’s play your game.

        Imagine that you are Beatty. In an open forum, in public, you make an honest statement about what you believe to be correct. You aren’t hiding anything or trying to cover anything up or saying things in secret. You are then censured for verbalizing your on-topic thoughts during a forum that is supposedly about “equity.”

        Further, you encounter more foot soldiers of the Thought Police who make statements like, “Anyone who disagrees with this move is supporting racism, full stop.”

        Is the committee seeking “equity” or conformity?

  • 2020-06-03 at 11:18 am

    At a time when many national leaders support in depth conversations examining race relations, our school board resorts to a two-hour closed session to do the exact opposite.

    Previously school systems actually taught the principles of “critical thinking” which encouraged deep examination of complex issues. This issue has apparently been festering since February leading one to believe that the actions taken last evening demonstrate that a herd mentality has taken over the school board. What a pity.

  • 2020-06-03 at 11:19 am

    Sounds like Mao’s Cultural Revolution has taken root here in Loudoun. Think as we say! No independent thought allowed, or we’ll put a dunce cap on you and force you to self-criticize. Next they’ll demand we all read their little red book.

    This is why the majority of smart, efficient, and reasonable people don’t run for office. Wake up people. Most elected public servants are not looking out for your best interest.

  • 2020-06-03 at 12:24 pm

    The folks who making upset noises here have never been victims of racism. I guarantee that.
    The public outcry against Ian Serotkin and his coverup is very encouraging that there are good people in Loudoun County who want to have the talk about racism and make things better. Look at the wonderful march this week in Leesburg. We are ready to be better. Join us or be left behind in a world of hate. if you see racism in Loudoun, #VOICEUP.

    • 2020-06-03 at 5:41 pm

      A two-hour CLOSED meeting effectively ensured any discussion of race could only include one point of view, anything else would be met with punitive action even if it takes herd mentality duress over a period of months to accomplish it.

      The Board seems to be adopting the same agenda they are using for LCPS system …. descending to the lowest common denominator. It’s really quit disturbing.

    • 2020-06-04 at 8:00 pm

      No one can talk about racism or anything else because people like you just want sanction others or publicly shame those like Beatty for having different opinions. You will never have open and honest discussions unless you stop slapping labels on people base on their color (every race).

  • 2020-06-03 at 2:48 pm

    How bold of you to hide behind anonymity “activist.” It’s racist of you to assume something about people you don’t know. You’re the one with hate in your heart. Hate for anything or anyone who isn’t exactly like you. Hate for the civil rights of others you don’t approve of. Hate for the 1st Amendment. Hate for critical thought. I’ve long been “better,” and getting better every day.

    When do the Red Guards meetings start? Will you be issued your armbands then?

  • 2020-06-03 at 5:14 pm

    Why don’t ALL of these poeple do the job they were elected to do and make sure our students are well educated and otherwise keep their collective traps shut?

  • 2020-06-04 at 7:55 pm

    This is not about racism. This is about banning speech. If you don’t agree with his statement, then say so and explain why. You don’t have to sanction someone for having an opinion or making a true or false statement. Just because Beatty is white doesn’t mean he can’t have opinion about emancipation. You and I never lived in a concentration camp, but that doesn’t exclude us from talking about it. You want to sanction the man because he is white, so it is obivious who is being racist here.

  • 2020-06-16 at 7:04 pm

    This is about a liberal funded agenda that is rampant in Virginia. From transgender and gender fluid ideology, to the destruction of 2nd Amendment rights, to baiting ANYONE as being racist if they don’t agree with the liberal viewpoints. I fear for our county in the future. LoudounNow even featured a cross-dresser as a prominent story during the pandemic – a time when focus should have been on family, businesses, our first responders, hospitals, public servants, volunteerism…and yet they concentrate on (Mr. Dick’s) roller-skating adventure on a small court of a suburb. Time to start our own RESIST movement and give Brenda Sheridan a taste of her own close-minded medicine.

  • 2020-06-18 at 8:14 am

    We want public debate how could you put LGBTQ books in our schools with out parent approval? Get rid of a board member quietly. Sorry but there is a difference between acceptance and forcing your view point on other. You cannot change your sex male and female bones are different and even if some one does change gender it is a lie because you cannot change your DNA. This is a fact how can any educated person support lies?

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