The Democrat-controlled Virginia Senate on Thursday blocked an amendment from Governor Glenn Youngkin that would force the Loudoun County School Board to stand for re-election this year.
Youngkin’s plan would have moved the election up from 2023. The board has previously been elected in odd-numbered years, corresponding with low turnout; moving it alongside congressional elections would get more voters involved.
Democrats said Youngkin was trying to thwart democracy, since voters elected board members to four-year terms in 2019. Loudoun Board of Supervisors member Juli Briskman on Twitter called the block of the amendment “Excellent News!! Thank you for stopping this attempt to subvert democracy!!”
But Republican Delegate Chris Head said in a floor speech, “Members on the other side, Mr. Speaker, are saying this is an attack on democracy. How is holding an election an attack on democracy? If the people of Loudoun like this board and its actions, then I have absolutely no doubt that they will return all of them to a four-year term.”
“This school board is using the powers delegated to them by this legislature and they’re misusing them terribly… The fix is to allow the people of Loudoun County to express their views at the ballot box just as soon as possible,” he said.
Ian Prior, executive director of the parents group Fight For Schools, said in a statement that voters have information now that they did not have in 2019.
“The members of the Loudoun County School Board did not run for office in 2019 on a platform of violating open meetings law, Title IX, and the constitutional rights of students, parents, and teachers, nor did they campaign on covering up a sexual assault and being investigated by a special grand jury,” Prior stated
Democrat lawmakers in the capital say if residents are unhappy with the school board, the proper recourse is the recall process — even though Democrat school board members also object to that move, and Democrat prosecutors have refused to facilitate it. In Virginia, an officeholder is not removed simply by residents collecting the required number of signatures; those signatures are supposed to lead to a prosecutor arguing before a judge that the politician should be removed.
But far-Left prosecutor Buta Biberaj and school board members have cast the recall process, too, as an attack on democracy.
“We do appreciate the Senate Democrats recognizing that the removal process in a proper process to make change. This cuts against the rhetoric we have heard from the school board, members of the board of supervisors, and Commonwealth Attorney Buta Biberaj, the latter of whom has worked against the citizen petitioners of Leesburg, Sterling, and Algonkian at every step of the way despite an ethical duty to be fair and objective,” Prior said.
Loudoun officials this month doubled down on their support for anti-parent attacks, with multiple officials praising Hilary Hultman-Lee, a former teacher who was the most prolific participant in a quest to dox parents who criticized the school board. In a secret group first revealed by The Daily Wire, participants said they would “hack” and “expose” parents who disagreed with the school board, making lists of where they lived, who employed them, and their spouses’ names.
They said they were identifying parents who were not sufficiently anti-racist. Hultman-Lee added a man whose evidence of guilt was a screenshot in which he said he had reviewed a Dr. Seuss book and “ask anyone to show me what is racist.”
But a sheriff’s investigation found that most parents were added simply for wanting schools to be open, in opposition to teachers union-induced coronavirus closures.