Loudoun Democrats Spurn School Board Removal Efforts

The Loudoun County Democratic Committee called the recent filings of removal petitions against School Board members “a national Republican effort to usurp democratic elections,” in a statement released on Saturday.

Petitions were filed to remove Chairwoman Brenda Sheridan (Sterling) on Nov. 9, and Vice Chairwoman Atoosa Reaser (Algonkian) last Thursday. The group Fight for Schools drafted the petitions and solicited for signatures during a removal campaign over the past several months. The campaign spurred attention from Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin, who teamed up with Fight for Schools Executive Director Ian Prior for speaking engagements several times on the campaign trail. Several polls cited education as a prominent motivator for voters throughout the commonwealth.

“Due to this campaign of lies, school board members have faced violent threats and harassment, culminating in the resignation of one board member already. Such efforts run in direct opposition to the voters and values of Loudoun County,” the LCDC statement said.

Former board member Beth Barts (Leesburg), who resigned on Nov. 2 citing a fear for her family’s safety, had been the focal point of the Fight for Schools effort. The petition to remove Barts was filed in Circuit Court in August. Judge Jeannette A. Irby granted Fight for Schools several motions, and disqualified Commonwealth’s Attorney Buta Biberaj from prosecuting the case. Biberaj is facing a similar removal effort spurred by a conservative movement to remove progressive prosecutors in Northern Virginia. Prior is also involved in that effort. 

School Board members came under fire in March 2020 for their involvement in a private Facebook group, which critics contend violates open-meetings guidelines for elected officials.  Fight for Schools formed in response to that group, and gained traction as the school district’s progressive social policies came under fire from critics.

A sexual assault scandal in Loudoun schools again placed the district in national media headlines. Barts was regularly featured on Fox News and conservative blogs, and she said many of the threats to her children came from people who live outside of the country.

Fight for Schools redrafted its removal petitions when news of the sexual assault scandal surfaced; The new petitions allege that board members should be removed because after a student sexually assaulted a schoolmate in May, he was transferred to Broad Run where he assaulted a second student in October. The removal petition against Reaser gathered over 1,800 signatures in just 13 days, organizers said.

“Chair Sheridan and Vice Chair Reaser received a clear mandate from the citizens of Loudoun County with their electoral victories two years ago,” said LCDC Chairwoman Lissa Savaglio. “These recall petitions aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. We expect these efforts to fail.”

The case against Sheridan is scheduled for a court hearing Tuesday morning in Loudoun County Circuit Court.

This article was updated Nov. 23 at 12:25 p.m. to correct a typo.

19 thoughts on “Loudoun Democrats Spurn School Board Removal Efforts

  • 2021-11-22 at 2:27 pm

    Across the nation, reasonable, rational people are rejecting the radical policies of the (D) party.

    Here in Loudoun, reasonable, rational people want to remove an out-of-control CA who puts criminals first and also members of the school board who have weaponized the educational system against children.

    Message to the LCDC: NOBODY cares what you have to say.

  • 2021-11-22 at 2:43 pm

    If the School Board election was held today, I don’t think a single board member would be re-elected.

  • 2021-11-22 at 3:14 pm

    The removal efforts are mean-spirited, in my humble opinion. And the lies being spread about Brenda Sheridan & Atoosa Reaser are reprehensible. Anyone associated with this effort should be ashamed of themselves. Happy Holidays Loudoun!

    • 2021-11-23 at 11:27 am

      Please list these lies? I’ll list some truths. Did they try doxxing parents that opposed their radical leftist indoctrination? True. Did they have knowledge of the rape and allow the accused(not convicted) to transfer to a Broadlands to assault another student? True. Do they use our tax dollars to push CRT training for our teachers? True. Are our children receiving a less than acceptable education under their “management”? True.

  • 2021-11-22 at 3:50 pm

    Participate in a creepy secret facebook group with the intent to doxx, photograph and intimidate parents. Loudoun democrats: Cool.

    Knowingly enable a sexual predator to assault a girl, only to release that predator at a second high school to sexually assault another young girl. Then feign ignorance, only to have that proved they covered up lying about the first lie. Loudoun democrats: Really super cool.

    Parents get tired of the lies and demand accountability. Loudoun democrats: We’re the victims!

    They all need to go: school board, administration. All of them.

    • 2021-11-22 at 5:27 pm

      I’m certainly glad that the Democrats didn’t participate in any effort to overturn an election by way of recall or impeachment. This article would be even more hypocritical if the did it twice, but at least they didn’t do that.

  • 2021-11-22 at 4:17 pm

    Of course the Democrats in Loudoun would object. They are very supportive of the use of CRT to indoctrinate our teachers, the transgender policies that were implemented and the illegal activities (holding private meetings that must be public). The insurance that citizens have that their elected officials can be held accountable is the availability of recalls.

  • 2021-11-22 at 4:28 pm

    So when parents, some of whom were targeted by numerous board members, use the legally provided mechanism to remove board members it is “undemocratic.”

    The title of this utterly slanted opinion piece should be “Democrats oppose efforts to hold runaway Democrats accountable.” If Loudoun Now had an ounce of journalistic integrity this piece would never have been published.

  • 2021-11-22 at 5:19 pm

    Alternate (more appropriate) title for this column:

    “Loudoun Democrats Don’t Like Laws Intended to Protect Virginians from Elected Officials”

  • 2021-11-22 at 5:25 pm

    There is nothing mean spirited about the recall. The fact is these three individuals abused the trust the citizens placed in them and now they must answer for it. These three are despicable and if they really cared about the citizens they serve they would be more contrite.

  • 2021-11-22 at 7:59 pm

    “Chair Sheridan and Vice Chair Reaser received a clear mandate from the citizens of Loudoun County with their electoral victories two years ago,” said LCDC Chairwoman Lissa Savaglio. “These recall petitions aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. We expect these efforts to fail.”

    Former Loudoun County supervisor Eugene Delguadio had a voter mandate for more than a decade, which didn’t stop county Democrats from pursuing a failed recall against him. But now that the shoe is on the other foot, Lissa Savaglio says the legal process is null and void. That’s rich, Lissa.

  • 2021-11-22 at 11:26 pm

    The removal process with petitions are democrats also saying they made a mistake.

  • 2021-11-23 at 7:09 am

    Notice how republicans follow the law and use the process afforded us under the law unlike the democrat school board that makes rules on the fly to suit their needs they create with faulty policy.

  • 2021-11-23 at 7:40 am

    Loudoun County Republican Committee named Best of Virginia by the Republican Party of Virginia!

  • 2021-11-23 at 11:22 am

    I don’t even recognize the Loudoun I used to love anymore — the bitter divide and animosity directed by people who are supposed to UNITE us is traumatizing. Speechless is all that I have to say.

    For the record — I am not proud of how the “Democratic” party are spinning this. When parents speak, they deserve to be heard. Our children are who gets educated and the party line politics are both unprofessional and demeaning. Pettiness is all I will remember with this school board politics. A petty popularity contest where some wanted a different governor and are disappointed with how the VIRGINIA voters voted.

    I don’t think this area is healthy at all. Toxic is the only way to describe the LCPS politics and how horribly mistreated the public has been for the past two years. This is embarrassing.

  • 2021-11-23 at 12:04 pm

    Perhaps if we took politics out of this…(fat chance) the fact that a majority find these people inept should raise some sort of flag.
    Is there no way to have an “impartial” investigation into this group?
    The BOS, School Board are constantly being berated for ineptness, political leanings, pandering to developers, etc. However they keep getting reelected. What’s wrong with this picture?
    Put your votes where your mouth is – vote them out of office.
    But…who do you replace them with? More of the same?
    The Sheriff needs to go, too, but again…is the cure worse than the disease!?

    • 2021-11-24 at 11:34 am

      I am not following. Of the 9 SB members in 2019, only 3 even ran for re-election. Only 2 won. So 7 out of 9 SB members are new. And the returning 2, Sheridan and Morse, are among some of the worst individuals in this county. They should be voted out too.

      It is challenging to get good candidates to run. We have folks who know nothing about education often running. And then we have folks who couldn’t care less for the kids but only want to pad their families pockets (see Morse). And then there are actually SB members who appear to want to provide prey for pedophile teachers (Sheridan and Morse and Reaser). It’s pretty sick.

      The only solution is to provide parents the ultimate input – a voucher for the full cost of educating a student in LCPS (~$20K/year on average) redeemable at any school that meets VDOE’s standards (includes private schools). Parents will ensure their kids are not offered up to sexual predators which is more than anybody can say for LCPS.

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