A Loudoun school board meeting exploded into shouting as parents called for Brenda Sheridan to be removed as board chair. They say that Sheridan and her school board silenced their voices, failed to keep their children safe, and are pushing for the school district to teach critical race theory against their wishes.
Parents are also looking to remove other members of the school board, including Board Vice-Chair Atoosa Reaser, Ian Serotkin, and Denise Corbo, the at-large member.
The parents of the Loudoun school district have gathered the needed signatures to petition the county to remove Brenda Sheridan and other members, and people at the school board meeting were very happy to inform them of that.
“By the way, Denise, Brenda, Ian, Atoosa, we are well over 100% of required signatures for the petitions,” Megan Jenkins said during the public comment portion of the meeting. “So I’m not going to encourage any of you to resign because when you are recalled and removed from office, it will be much more satisfying. See you in court.”
In Virginia, for an elected official to be removed from office, a petition must gather enough signatures that are equal to 10% of the votes cast in the previous election.
Parents of Loudoun School District say that to get these signatures many of them had to work long hours away from their families.
The petition, which has gathered over 20,000 signatures, was created by Fight For Schools and it’s executive director, Ian Prior. Prior is a father in the school district and explained his distrust of Sheridan and other members of the board.
He said, “As Chairwoman, Brenda Sheridan has overseen and personally contributed to a complete breakdown in trust between the community and the Loudoun County School Board.” Prior says that Sheridan is guilty of neglect of duty, misuse of office and incompetence in the performance of her duties.
Many parents say that Brenda Sheridan and the Loudoun School Board violated their First Amendment rights and denied parents access to public comment periods during meetings and stop certain parents from speaking based on their opinions.
According to new Loudoun School District rules, parents wanting to speak during public comment periods only have 60 seconds and only 10 individuals can speak during a meeting. Sheridan has had to end these periods early because parents have refused to calm down and one meeting led to an arrest of a parent who wouldn’t leave.
The petition says that school board members “focused board attention on open bathroom policies, renaming schools, removing class rank, issuing special proclamations… and other issues unrelated to the core issue of a safe environment that is focused on an education program of high quality.”
Many parents became angry with the school board last summer when they allowed a student accused of sexual assault to be transferred to another school within the district. The student later went on to allegedly sexually assault another student. The accused student is currently awaiting trial.
The parent’s petition states that the transfer happened with Sheridan’s approval and that while she knew very little about the first sexual assault, she barely did anything to protect the students.
The parents are also angry at the school board’s push to teach critical race theory. A contract with Loudoun School District showed that they paid $300,000 to The Equity Collaborative to start the process of learning the theories. Parents are upset that their taxpayer money is allegedly going towards these types of teachings.
Erin Dunbar said, “You have activist teachers using to indoctrinate their kids who are at the mercy of their authority. That is child abuse. And you have no right to brainwash children into believing that their skin color determines their purpose.”
Brenda Sheridan has spoken out about the petition and said that “citizens of the Sterling District elected me in 2011, 2015 and 2019 … My election was a mandate from those who came to the polls — three times — to choose me as their representative. Tuesday’s filing is the result of a fraction of those citizens signing a petition, whether they voted or not.”
The case for removing Brenda Sheridan and other members of the board haven’t made it to trial. If the case does face a judge and they are removed then the board with have 45 days to find a temporary replacement and 15 days to ask the court for a special election.