Open Fairfax County School Board Files Motion to Reconsider Elaine Tholen Recall

Elaine Tholen for Fairfax County School Board, Dranesville

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.

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Roundup: Fight for Schools Submits Petition to Recall Loudoun School Board Member Beth Barts; Other Virginia School Board Updates

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.

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Virginia Court Dismisses Recall Effort Against Fairfax County School Board Member Elaine Tholen at Request of Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney

The effort to recall Fairfax County School Board Member Elaine Tholen hit a dead end Friday, when Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Hingeley asked Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Richard Gardiner to dismiss the recall petition. According to Tholen’s press release, Hingeley said the petition did not have factual allegations that met the legal standard.

“In this case, a small group of people unhappy about Covid restrictions tried to use the law to substitute their opinion for a unanimous consensus of the Fairfax County School Board. I was happy to hear the special prosecutor tell the judge that the case was about a policy disagreement, and that the recall process is not a vehicle to resolve such disputes with elected officials and governing bodies. That is why we have elections,” Tholen said.

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Fight for Schools PAC Has Enough Signatures for Recall Petition Against Loudoun School Board Member Ian Serotkin

Ian Serotkin

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.

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School Board Member Recalls Are Allowed in Virginia

Groups in Loudoun County and Fairfax County are attempting to recall school board members. They’re part of a national increase of school board recalls in 2021, according to Ballotpedia, which reports 58 recall efforts in 2021, targeting 144 officials. That’s up from a 2006 to 2020 average of 23 recalls.

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Behind the Scenes of the Effort to Recall Six Pro-Critical Race Theory Loudoun County School Board Members

Parents are organizing to recall six members of the Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) School Board who kept schools closed and reportedly allowed and encouraged critical race theory curriculum. LCPS parent Ian Prior – one of the leaders behind Fight For Schools, the recall effort – informed The Virginia Star that they have secured more than the 10 percent of votes each member obtained during the last election – and they’ve been busy gathering more. 

“At last count last Sunday, we were at 60 percent for Beth Barts, 54 percent for Ian Serotkin, 42 percent for Denise Corbo, 27 percent for Leslee King, 24 percent for Brenda Sheridan, and 20 percent for Atoosa Reaser. That was 10 days ago. People are out there collecting signatures: going door-to-door and attending events,” explained Prior. “We want to make sure that we have more signatures than required, which will obviously protect us from any challenges or whatnot. We’re still determining the best way forward.”

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