Virginia Parents Petition to Have School Board Members Removed

Virginia Parents Petition to Have School Board Members Removed brenda sheridan looks at laptop Loudoun County Public Schools board member Brenda Sheridan at a public meeting in Ashburn, Virginia, on Oct. 12, 2021. (ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

By Brian Freeman | Wednesday, 10 November 2021 02:48 PM

A group of Virginia parents in Loudoun County, called Fight for Schools, have gathered the required number of signatures to both file a petition for the removal of the school board chairwoman and initiate legal challenges to oust three other board members, the Washington Examiner has reported.

Fight for Schools Executive Director Ian Prior told the Daily Mail that "as chairwoman, Brenda Sheridan has overseen and personally contributed to a complete breakdown in trust between the community and the Loudoun County School Board. From violating open meetings law to ignoring the school board's code of conduct to neglecting to keep our children safe, all for her activist causes, Sheridan has been nothing short of a disaster as the so-called leader of Loudoun County Public Schools."

Parents have protested against the school board due to controversies over transgender policies and the teaching of critical race theory in schools.

Of particular concern was the revelation that the board and county Superintendent Scott Ziegler had been aware of an alleged sexual assault in May by a male student in a high school’s women’s bathroom, but he was permitted to transfer to another school, where he was charged with committing a second assault, according to the Washington Examiner.

Parents associated with Fight for Schools made the announcement at the school’s board meeting on Tuesday night, saying they had more than the required 2,000 signatures to file a petition for the removal of Sheridan over accusations of neglect of duty, misuse of office, and incompetence in the performance of her duties, as well as enough signatures to mount legal action to remove Vice-Chairwoman Atoosa Reaser and board members Ian Serotkin and Denise Corbo.

Virginia law requires those seeking to remove elected officials to collect signatures totaling at least 10% of the votes cast in the previous election and file a petition, which then initiates court proceedings where a judge or jury decides if the official is removed.

Sheridan vowed to "see this process through" in an email to the Loudoun Times-Mirror, stating that she was elected three times to be a representative and that it was only "a fraction of those citizens signing a petition," adding that being a member of the school board is public service, and "it is not always easy or popular."