Parents trying to recall members of a northern Virginia school board were accused of racism for these actions by a local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) on Tuesday.
Michelle Thomas, a pastor and president of the Loudoun, Virginia, branch of the NAACP called the recall effort “a Jim Crow-esque effort of 2022 to suppress votes, and to silence the will of the people,” according to the Loudoun Times-Mirror. Thomas was announcing an effort to join the legal battle seeking to remove school board members Brenda Sheridan and Atoosa Reaser when she made the comment.
Thomas took aim at Fight for Schools, the parents group behind the recall effort, which began after a secret Facebook group targeting parents who opposed Critical Race Theory (CRT) in Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) came to light.
Loudoun County Circuit Court Judge Jeanette Irby declined Wednesday to recuse herself from the recall case of School Board Member Beth Barts. Barts’ attorney Charles King had motioned for local judges to recuse themselves, arguing that an outside judge is necessary to consider testimony from local officials. On Monday, Judge Stephen Sincavage said he would recuse himself, saying he has children in the school district, according to Loudoun Now.
“I am not recusing myself from this matter,” Irby said, according to The Loudoun Times-Mirror.
The Open FCPS Coalition is calling for the court to reconsider the recall case against Fairfax County School Board member Elaine Tholen. In a Monday press release, the coalition alleged that the prosecutor who said there wasn’t enough evidence to pursue the case had conflicts of interest.
“Following James Hingeley’s decision to not represent the over 5,000 voters that signed a recall petition against Elaine Tholen, it was revealed that Hingeley actually campaigned with Ms. Tholen in 2019,” the release states.
Fight for Schools PAC announced Wednesday that they have collected 158 percent of the signatures necessary to ask a court to recall Loudoun School Board Member Beth Barts.
“For five months, Loudoun County has been at the center of local, state, national, and even international media attention. Much of this is due to the actions of Beth Barts. She has shown a complete inability to comply with the law, her own code of conduct, and the basic decency that accompanies being an elected official in the United States of America,” Fight for Schools Executive Director Ian Prior said in a press release.
A recall petition targeting Loudoun County Public School (LCPS) Board Member Ian Serotkin has 110 percent of the signatures needed, Fight for Schools PAC organizer Ian Prior said Friday. Recall petitions aimed at other school board members are also nearing target amounts. The PAC has 88 percent of signatures needed for the Denise Corbo petition, 75 percent of signatures needed for the Leslee King petition, 54 percent of signatures for the Atoosa Reaser petition, and 50 percent of signatures needed for the Brenda Sheridan petition.