Barts Resigns Amid School District Turmoil

School board member Beth Barts (Leesburg) tendered her resignation letter to Superintendent Scott Ziegler, effective Nov. 2, after over a year of turmoil including an attempt to remove her from office and the district facing a sexual assault scandal.

“This was not an easy decision or a decision made in haste. After much thought and careful consideration, it is the right decision for me and my family,” she said in her statement.

Barts toldLoudoun Nowthat there is not one singular factor that prompted her resignation. She is facing a removal effort in court, sparked by her involvement in the Facebook group, Anti-Racist Parents of Loudoun County, where members allegedly compiled names of parents in the county opposed to the district’s equity efforts. During her term, Barts has been a vocal proponent of working toward racial equity in the school district. The group Fight for Schools spearheaded the removal effort and spent the summer collecting signatures in support of her removal. The removal petition was filed on Aug. 25.

Attempts to remove elected officials in Virginia rarely succeed, but removal is possible if a court finds “neglect of duty, misuse of office, or incompetence in the performance of duties when that neglect of duty, misuse of office, or incompetence in the performance of duties has a material adverse effect upon the conduct of the office,” or after conviction for some crimes.

The case to remove Barts was still in the early stages; last week,Judge Jeanette Irby said she would appoint a special prosecutor to the case. Commonwealth’s Attorney Buta Biberaj was allegedly involved in the same Facebook group as Barts. For that reason, Irby said, the public would never be able to trust that the case had been handled impartially if Biberaj were to prosecute it.

“I ran for the School Board to improve mental health resources, push for full-time parent liaisons, and free breakfast for all Title IX eligible schools. I’m proud of our forward movement in these areas,” Barts toldLoudoun Now. She said she will return to volunteer work in the community upon leaving office.

Barts also said she has responded to 10,518 emails and has attended over one hundred in-person and virtual meetings during her tenure.

Barts won the general election to her seat on Nov. 5, 2019, earing 6,434 (54.8%) votes, besting her opponent Joe Newcomer’s 5,293 (45%) votes.

“I would like to extend a special thank you to the thousands of Leesburg constituents and others, who have provided unyielding support to me during my School Board term,” she said.

To replace Barts, the board must appoint someone to the seat she will leave vacant within 45 days of her leaving office. It is a process the board just went through to fill the seat that Leslee King (Broad Run) left vacant when she passed. Andrew Hoyler was appointed last Tuesday to fill the Broad Run seat, and will serve until a special election in held in November 2022. With Barts’s resignation, a race for the Leesburg seat could also be on the 2022 ballot. The winners of those races will serve until the end of the current term, in 2023.

The news Barts’ resignation comes during a trying week for the school district. The latest scandal surrounding the school district involved the alleged rape of a Stone Bridge High School student on May 28. On Oct. 7, a student at Broad Run High School was allegedly assaulted by the same person, though the school district will not confirm it was the same student involved in both incidents. The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office investigating. Sheriff’s Office spokesman Kraig Troxell said that he could not comment on the matter, citing state code that seals cases involving juveniles.

During the Oct. 12 School Board meeting, members of the public berated the board and Superintendent Scott Ziegler, charging that Ziegler put other students at risk by allowing the alleged assailant to transfer to another school in the district. School Board members said that they did not know that the student from the Stone Bridge incident was also involved Broad Run incident.

24 thoughts on “Barts Resigns Amid School District Turmoil

  • 2021-10-15 at 3:20 pm
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    While it is good that she is gone, we are past the point where removal is sufficient. The Loudoun County Predatory School board has committed criminal acts and they need to go to jail.

  • 2021-10-15 at 3:23 pm
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    Her supporters will hold her up as a martyr.
    Reasonable people know otherwise.

    • 2021-10-17 at 2:05 am
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      Well kind of, since she resigned after people threatened to murder her kid.
      Be proud Christian Taliban. Be proud.

      • 2021-10-18 at 4:19 pm
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        Anyone who would threaten her child is not a Christian. There is no such thing as the “Christian Taliban” because by definition, Christians are called to humility, love and grace. That’s why the FFS effort was so powerful — it gave Christians (and others) who were disgusted and frustrated by Barts’ actions a fair and legal way to remove her.

        • 2021-10-19 at 1:57 pm
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          Except that group is whipping up hatred against a tiny minority of vulnerable kids….and making death threats.

      • 2021-10-19 at 9:02 am
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        Personally, I’m against that sort of thing. There’s no place for it.
        But Dementia Joe (D) says physical and psychological harassment is “part of the process.”
        The last guy… 0bama…. told his supporters to “punish their (political) enemies.”

        Remember when Barts and other local (D)s participated in a Facebook cabal which compiled an “enemies” list and doxxed fellow Loudouners who didn’t agree with their radical views? I certainly do.

        • 2021-10-19 at 3:26 pm
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          Doxxed people, some of whom later threatened to kill her kid? I guess they nailed it.

    • 2021-10-16 at 6:30 pm
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      The timing is that Barts hoped that the paid-by-Soros Marxist Commonwealth’s Attorney Bieberaj was going to help her out and fail to prosecute. But the Democrat Bieberaj got removed by the judge for her own obvious conflict of interest. When an unbiased CA was appointed a couple of days ago, Barts knew she was done for. Barts obviously broke the law and her only hope was having fellow Democrats tip the scales of injustice in her favor like they have done for countless other Democrats. Absent cronyism, she was certain to be removed.

      • 2021-10-17 at 5:57 pm
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        Wow.

        So you don’t think the death threats against her kid by right wing nut jobs had ANYTHING to do with it?

  • 2021-10-15 at 4:54 pm
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    I think Beth Barts made the right decision. I trust the Barts family will be able to enjoy life in peace & rectitude after 18 months of turmoil. I hope something can be worked out with Fight For Schools to spare the community more recall efforts. Perhaps a FFS member from Leesburg could replace Ms. Barts on the school board in lieu of continued recall efforts. We really need to get the focus back on ensuring a quality education for every Loudoun student.

    • 2021-10-15 at 8:37 pm
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      No, we really should not reward bad behavior or negotiate with terrorists.

  • 2021-10-15 at 5:13 pm
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    I am hoping that Barts never sees the end of the civil suits launched by the many citizens she victimized through the misuse of her office. Would-be tyrants need to learn lessons from the abuse of power.

    In the meantime, the fight to reclaim the schools from these lunatics has just begun. Mr. Ziegler should be the next to resign and the rest of the board should follow these two miscreants out the door.

  • 2021-10-15 at 10:37 pm
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    She says she “ran for the School Board to improve mental health resources” but instead, she and her gang of woke socialist PC Democrats created mental distress for thousands of parents and gobs more students. Hope the door kicks you on the way out.

  • 2021-10-17 at 4:25 am
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    Hopefully Julie Sisson will be appointed to fill Barts vacancy.

  • 2021-10-17 at 10:34 am
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    It is difficult to find anything to be thankful for in this entire sordid and disgusting fiasco. But I am thankful that at least one of the key players has resigned and saved the taxpayers of this county from having to pursue her recall through the courts. So for that, thank you Beth Barts.

    Granted, we don’t know all of the details and I’m not sure we should know that now, if ever. Most certainly we should all appreciate that the victim has rights and that alone requires a certain amount of confidentiality in the process. But what we do know is that a violent crime was committed in one of our public schools against a student by another student in May. Someone in that public school board meeting room a month later was well aware of that fact. Certainly the Superintendent was aware. I’m betting that one or more of the school system employees in attendance were aware. Perhaps one or more of the School Board members was aware. But a clear, direct, and unambiguous question was asked – a simple question requiring a simple yes or no response. And the Superintendent lied in response. However he wants to frame it, it was a bald-faced lie.

    There are no excuses for what happened in that school in May just as there are no excuses for lying to the public and perhaps the school board (if they, in fact, were not aware) about the fact that something happened. The Superintendent did not have to provide any details in that public setting about exactly what was alleged to have happened, but he did need to acknowledge that something occurred. And he lied. For that, he needs to resign or be fired.

    If any school system employee or any member of the school board in that meeting was aware that night that the Superintendent lied, they should resign for facilitating, enabling, and embracing the cover-up. If the school board members didn’t know that night, they should resign for not speaking-up as soon as they found out and for not immediately firing the Superintendent as soon as they became aware that he had lied to them and to the public they all work for.

    We now know for a fact that the same student alleged to have been responsible for the violent attack against a fellow student at the one public school in May committed a second violent act against another student at another of our public schools in October. The words (or silence) and actions (or inactions) of the Superintendent and the school board are directly responsible for what happened to the second child victim and that is inexcusable. In the vernacular, they all have blood on their hands. Whether through acts of commission or acts of omission they are all responsible. They all need to go.

    The Superintendent’s lame attempts at blame-shifting are pathetic. He and his administration had plenty of alternatives available to them other than allowing an alleged violent offender back in any public school while the legal system addresses the matter. His crap about Title IX and some of the other alleged “restrictions” we have heard from others that somehow a recent change in Virginia law tied his hands is a red herring and ridiculous. Anyone with any common sense knows better. There are ample examples in Loudoun County, elsewhere in Virginia, and elsewhere in the country where Title IX and/or Virginia law has not hindered the ability to keep alleged violent offenders out of schools. We should expect far better from the highest paid employee on the Loudoun County payroll. He needs to go.

    I would view the actions or inactions of the Commonwealth’s Attorney and perhaps the magistrate/judge in the same light. Releasing the alleged offender from detention with an ankle monitor is but one step. We know courts typically place other pre-trial release restrictions on defendants, typically at the request of the prosecution. Was there an order requested or granted barring this individual from school property? If not, why not? What other restrictions were placed on his release? Perhaps home detention? Were there any other restrictions? If not, why not? There also needs to be some accountability from the folks in the office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney and perhaps the courthouse regarding what did and did not happen leading to the second violent incident.

    • 2021-10-19 at 1:34 pm
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      You bring up a great point. Undoubtedly, several LCPS employees knew what happened and not a single one of them had the courage to stand up and tell people the truth. Those LCPS employees need to hang their heads in the deepest shame.

  • 2021-10-17 at 6:06 pm
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    Just a couple of questions (in my opinion):
    1. If someone does a FOIA on all the e-mails between and among senior staff and the school board at the same time policy 8040 was being pursued what overlap would we find relative to the mishandling of the student being charged and the mistreatment of the victim’s father?

    2. Did the general counsel give advice on the handling of all of these unfortunate events and was any of that oof concern to the bar or the community?

    3. Did the prior administration hide the Douglas School from either the school board or the Superintendent? It has been around for decades and is designed precisely for such use with small classes and many professional to handle troubled students.

    4. Has there been an apology by either the school board or the Superintendent to the father of the victim for how he was cut off from expressing his concerns over having boys wearing dresses in gel’s bathrooms with an understandable reason?

    5. Isn’t the BOS supposed to play some role in allocating our tax dollars to the school board and why aren’t any of them showing any degree of concern over such obvious mis-management? Is it because the majority of both boards are part of the same political tribe? 🙂

  • 2021-10-18 at 10:33 am
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    Let’s hold her as accountable as we did Trump who we all know his pants are eternally on fire.

    • 2021-10-19 at 10:07 am
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      You’re OK with the current guy, though, Right?

      You know… the one who drove an 18 wheeler.
      The guy who has stated that $4,500,000,000,000.00 of spending “costs zero dollars.”
      The guy who claims that illegal immigration is “seasonal.”
      The amazing humanitarian who said that he was locked up in a South African jail.
      The clueless senile old man who stated as fact that Al qaidia is “gone” from Afghanistan.
      Oh, and remember when he claimed that none his military advisors told him to keep troops in Afghanistan until after the civilians out? Yeah, that was a big lie too.

      Don’t worry about the last guy. He hasn’t been in office for almost a year. Americans have plenty to fear from Biden(D) and people that think and act like Beth Barts.

  • 2021-10-18 at 5:08 pm
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    The allegations against her still needs to be pursued.
    You should never abuse your power in any elected seats.
    The mere fact they are trying to silence angry parents has been appalling.
    It only escalates parents and the community when their voices can not be heard and answers delivered in a public forum.
    The entire school board needs stay objective and not bring their socialistic/communistic approaches to play.
    Please start investigation the materials being taught, one by one and where the materials are being purchased.

  • 2021-10-18 at 5:09 pm
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    The allegations against her still needs to be pursued.
    You should never abuse your power in any elected seats.
    The mere fact they are trying to silence angry parents has been appalling.
    It only escalates parents and the community when their voices can not be heard and answers delivered in a public forum.
    The entire school board needs stay objective
    Please start investigation the materials being taught, one by one and where the materials are being purchased.

  • 2021-10-19 at 3:29 pm
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    Gandhi: “When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and *for a time,* they can seem invincible, but in the end, they *always fall..”*

  • 2021-10-23 at 6:40 am
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    Proceed with court case as she can withdraw her resignation.

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