Loudon County parents file lawsuit to remove School Board member for holding illegal meetings
Kendall Tietz, DCNF
Residents of Loudon County call for the removal of a school board member in a lawsuit filed Wednesday.
The lawsuit petitions for the removal of one board member of Loudon County Public Schools in Virginia, Beth Barts, for violating state and local policies, according to court documents.
Additionally, Barts and other board members allegedly held illegal meetings through Facebook groups and emails, disrespected other board members and disregarded matters of public concern, Fox News reported.
For months, county residents have worked to recall six board members accused of belonging to a secretive, “anti-racist” Facebook group that created lists of parents who oppose progressive curricula or want schools to reopen for in-person classes. The school district has been the center of the Critical Race Theory debate, specifically at school board meetings where parents and teachers who speak out against curricula centering on race garner much online attention.
The Fight for Schools PAC responsible for the recall effort, led by Ian Prior, announced the petition exceeded the number of signatures required to request Bart’s removal on Wednesday, Fox News reported. Prior is a former Trump administration spokesman whose daughters attend schools in the Loudon County school system.
Allegations against Barts include exposing confidential information from closed school board sessions public on social media, violating the state’s open meeting law and using personal social media accounts to discuss official school board business with other board members in private Facebook groups that aren’t open to all members of the public, according to the complaint.
The complaint also accuses Bart of deleting social media posts, comments and accounts that “should have been preserved as public records under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act” and “encouraged the harassment of private citizens who have expressed opposition to her preferred policies.”
A Loudoun County Public Schools spokesperson declined to comment “because the recall effort involves an ongoing legal matter. Also, Mrs. Barts is an elected official, not an LCPS employee. LCPS does not comment on actions undertaken by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office,” Fox News reported.
In addition to Barts, other school board members facing recall are Brenda Sheridan, Ian Serotine, Denise Corbo, Leslee King and Atoosa Reaser, Fox News reported.