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Virginia parents group starts PAC to unseat school board members over racial and reopening controversies

Virginia parents group starts PAC to unseat school board members over racial and reopening controversies

by Kaelan Deese | Washington Examiner  |  Published on April 14, 2021

A Virginia parents group formed a political action committee with the intent of unseating multiple school board members in Virginia’s Loudoun County due to a feud over critical race theory.

The Fight for Schools PAC said Loudoun County school board members showed a “misunderstanding of their duties and responsibility as elected officials,” according to a readout obtained by the Washington Examiner.

“For the sake of our children, Loudoun County parents cannot wait until 2023 to elect new leaders,” Ian Prior, leader of the PAC and a Loudoun County parent, said. Prior also previously worked for the National Republican Congressional Committee and former President Donald Trump’s Department of Justice.

The PAC’s release named school board members Beth Barts, Brenda Sheridan, Ian Serotkin, Denise Corbo, Leslee King, and Atoosa Reaser, who reportedly were part of a private Facebook group called “Anti-Racist Parents of Loudoun County” in which some members compiled a list of names of parents in the district who opposed the teaching of critical race theory, according to the PAC’s website. The PAC is a project of Loudoun Parents for Education, which initiated a recall effort at the end of March.

Virginia law offers remedies for recalling government officials who abused their office or were incompetent in performance of their duties, and “both apply here,” according to Prior.

Barts, a prominent member of the board, wrote in the Facebook group on March 12 she hoped to “call out statements and actions that undermine our stated plan to end systemic racism” after groups called the Virginia Project and Parents Against Critical Theory held a webinar titled “What is CRT and its impact on Loudoun County Schools” on March 7.

Barts was temporarily removed from committees until the end of the year following a school board vote on March 10, the Loudoun Times-Mirror reported. The board previously voted to censure her for violating its code of conduct on March 4, the outlet added.

Parents and school officials have quarreled for months about the process for reopening in-person learning and a slate of proposed equity training measures for students in what is considered one of the wealthiest counties in the United States.

Some parents reportedly believed focusing too much on race in school could reduce tolerance and peace rather than improve it.

“You are either racist or anti-racist, and given that [they are part of] the system, which teachers are being told is racist, so they’re racist. And not only that, teachers are being told … not only, ‘You’re racist,’ but you’re actually complicit in the physical and spiritual murder of black students daily unless you adopt our opinion,” Max Eden, a Loudoun County public school parent, said.

In January, parents of students from the district voiced dissatisfaction with the school district’s prolonged in-person learning closures due to COVID-19, saying the board was not doing enough to bring students back after months of distanced learning. The district previously announced four-day-a-week learning will resume on April 20.

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