School Board Effort to Censure Maloney Falls Short of Votes

An effort by two Loudoun County School Board members to censure their colleague, Joy Maloney, failed tonight.

During the board’s meeting, Eric DeKenipp (Catoctin) and Jill Turgeon (Blue Ridge) voted to adopt a resolution that expressed strong disapproval of Maloney’s arrest at the Aug. 2 Donald Trump campaign rally at Briar Woods High School. Maloney was charged with trespassing after allegedly refusing to leave after having her ticket revoked, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.

Maloney is scheduled to appear in Loudoun County District Court tomorrow. If convicted, she could face up to 12 months in jail and a fine up to $2,500.

The board voted 2-6-1 on the motion to discuss the resolution, ultimately passing by the item. DeKenipp and Turgeon voted in favor; Maloney abstained.

DeKenipp told Chairman Eric Hornberger (Ashburn) that he should be able to introduce the agenda item and speak to it. Citing Robert’s Rules of Order, Hornberger said the majority of the board first needed to express support for the discussion.

After the vote, DeKenipp said, “That seemed a little too coordinated to me, quite frankly.”

“You’re out of order, Mr. DeKenipp,” Hornberger responded.

“That’s OK,” DeKenipp added.

Maloney, who is in her first term on the board, said after the vote that she was not stopping people from entering the Trump rally or from expressing their support for the candidate.

“We work, attend school, dine, shop, and play together. We must remain civil towards each other to thrive as a community,” she said. “I will continue to serve our community as best I know how. I will continue to fight for our community’s deeply held values of inclusion and the benefit of diversity of our students and staff, in addition to my other efforts to continuously improve our kids’ education. And I will always to try to set an example that you can be proud of. Sometimes, we may disagree on what that is.”

Six people spoke against censuring Maloney during the public input portion of the meeting.

Tom Beres, a Sterling resident, called DeKenipp and Turgeon bullies. “This bullying is not what I expect of you as a School Board. It’s not what students expect,” he said. “I don’t know why you’re doing it, whether it’s personal or political.”

Erica Garman, a teacher at Stone Hill Middle School in Ashburn, said the board is meant to be a nonpartisan body that sets an example for the community and the students it serves. “Please show our students what true collaboration looks like—working with people who you may not always agree with.”

DeKenipp and Turgeon first tried to prompt discussion of Maloney’s arrest among board members at the School Board’s Aug. 9 meeting, but they were out-voted. That night, DeKenipp said, “When a School Board member willfully refuses to follow police orders on school property in front of thousands, and as a result was literally dragged to a police car, that is a concern of the board. I was elected on a platform of accountability, and tonight I’m here to hold one of my own to account.”

dnadler@loudounnow.com
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