Fight for Schools, the group leading the recall effort against four School Board members, filed boys third petition today in Loudoun County Circuit Court, seeking to remove Vice Chairwoman Atoosa Reaser (Algonkian).
The action comes just nine days after the same groupfiled a petition to remove Chairwoman Brenda Sheridan (Sterling). A Circuit Court hearing in that case is scheduled Tuesday.
The first petition seeking the removal of then-Leesburg District representative Beth Barts was filed in August and the case moved forward, as Judge Jeannette A. Irby heard motions in October. She resigned Nov. 2, in part citing threatening messages she and her family received as coverage of the School Board spread across national news outlets.
School Board members came under fire in March 2020 for involvement in the private Facebook group, “Anti-Racist Parents of Loudoun County” where some members allegedly sought to compile lists of individuals opposed to the district’s racial equity efforts.Fight for Schools Executive Director Ian Prior was among the parents listed.
The petitions require the signatures of at least 10% of the number of registered voters in the district who cast ballots during the previous election. Over the past several months, volunteers passed out petitions on clipboards outside of School Board meetings, went door to door seeking support, and canvassed on weekends at grocery stores in the county.
The petition to remove Reaser reached 1,859 signatures in just 13 days, organizers said. Fight for Schools released a statement, citing Reaser’s involvement in private Facebook groups, involvement in ending the public comment period of a School Board meeting, and the board’s handling of a May 28 sexual assault at the Stone Bridge High School in which the suspect was transferred to a different high school where he sexually assaulted another student.
Once a petition is filed in Circuit Court, it is reviewed by a judge. If the case is accepted, the Commonwealth’s Attorney Office prosecutes the case. The official is entitled to a trial prior to a removal verdict being reached.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Buta Biberaj was disqualified by judge Irby from prosecuting the Barts case because she is also facing a removal effort involving some of the Fight for Schools members, including Prior.