During a virtual meeting for Virginia Democrats this morning, Loudoun School Board Vice Chairwoman Atoosa Reaser (Algonkian) called on Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin to tone down his party’s divisive rhetoric about schools ahead of his planned campaign rally this evening at the school division’s administration building.
“Being a leader means focusing on what actually matters, not things that stoke fear and drive people to be divisive,” Reaser said.
Alongside Democrat Party of Virginia Chairwoman Susan Swecker and Virginia Del. Schuyler VanValkenburg (D-72), Reaser praised the work of Loudoun’s School Board over the course of the past year. She lauded the formation of the mental health task force to aid students in the transition back to school, the food delivery program to feed students throughout the pandemic, and the stipends given to front-line educators and staff members.
Reaser and her fellow board members have endured months of turbulence, with last week’s School Board meeting leading to chaos. During the public comment session, speakers excoriated the School Board for the district’s equity work and proposed protections for transgender students. Board Members ended the public comment session early after repeated warnings against outbursts by the crowd. Superintendent Scott Ziegler had deputies clear the boardroom. Several people were detained by deputies and one man was arrested.
Reaser stressed that conspiracy theories surrounding the district’s equity work are divisive and use families and students as political pawns. She said that School Board members have received death threats, and these security concerns detract from the role of schools in the district.
“We have a common goal across our board and across our county, and that’s the best interest of the kids. So, I would ask leadership to unite under that umbrella,” Reaser said.
At an event in Loudoun this evening, Youngkin plans to reveal the first phase of his education plan for the commonwealth. Swecker urged Youngkin to acknowledge the severity of the situation in Loudoun, where KKK fliers were tossed in driveways of some Loudoun homes last week.
“I think he needs to find a backbone and work to tone down this mob mentality and address the KKK being in Fairfax and Loudoun,” Swecker said.
Youngkin’s campaign will hold an event this evening at 6:30 p.m outside the Loudoun Public Schools Administration Building in Broadlands.