Fight for Schools has filed a recall petition aimed at Loudoun County School Board Vice-Chair Atoosa Reaser. The petition cites her involvement in two controversial Facebook groups, alleges Reaser’s knowledge of an assault at Stone Bridge High School, and says she has limited First Amendment rights of speakers during public comment.
Fight for Schools Executive Director Ian Prior said in a press release, “As Vice-Chairwoman, Atoosa Reaser has been part of the leadership team that 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 in the name of politics, Reaser has failed to lead and collaborate with parents and teachers that want a quality, safe education that respects the diversity of thought and viewpoint of the parents and students in her district.”
Reaser didn’t respond to a request for comment, but equity advocacy organization Loudoun4All defended her in a press release.
The release states, “In the case of Reaser, the basis of the recalls is largely a combination of misinformation and outright lies. The filing alleges that Reaser violated open meeting laws by being a member of community Facebook groups. Being a member of a Facebook group does not constitute a violation of open meeting laws. In fact, multiple School Board Members have communicated that they have consulted with lawyers, who confirmed that their presence in moderated groups does not constitute any kind of violation. One would be hard pressed to find anyone in any elected office who is not a member of any moderated Facebook groups.”
Fight for Schools has also submitted a petition against Board Chair Brenda Sheridan, and is targeting members Ian Serotkin and Denise Corbo.
“We don’t have anything to announce at this time but we do have more than enough to file on Serotkin and Corbo,” Prior told The Virginia Star.
Recalls face an uphill battle in Virginia due to limited legal circumstances allowing them and the court-driven process. A recall aimed at former Loudoun School Board Member Beth Barts was indirectly successful when Barts resigned in October. She cited abusive messages and threats, according to The Washington Post.
The school board announced Thursday that 16 candidates have applied for the new vacancy, and the board will select the new member who will serve until December 31, 2022.
“As for the school board replacements, we are looking forward to learning more about the candidates and helping inform Loudoun County residents about where they stand,” Prior said.
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Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Atoosa Reaser” by Loudoun County Public Schools. Background Photo “Loudoun Public Schools Building” by Loudoun County Schools..