The Loudoun County School Board meeting erupted into shouting on Tuesday night after parents confronted members of the school board after the parent group Fight for Schools filed more than 2,000 signatures to remove the board chair.
"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 period. "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."
Jenkins had been referring to Board Chair Brenda Sheridan (Sterling District), Board Vice-Chair Atoosa Reaser (Algonkian District), Ian Serotkin (Blue Ridge District) and Denise Corbo, the at-large member. Ian Prior, a father and executive director at Fight for Schools, previously told Fox News that his organization had compiled all the signatures to mount legal challenges to each of those four board members, although he filed the petition to oust Sheridan on Tuesday.
In order to remove an elected official in Virginia, petitioners must acquire a number of signatures equal to 10% of the votes cast in the previous election for that office.
"I have the privilege of telling you that we are finished collecting signatures for your removal," Jessica Mendez said during the board meeting's public comment period. She said that parent organizers "sacrificed and spent countless hours away from their families, day in and day out."
"I used to think that there was no point in speaking at these meetings," Mendez added. "There was no point in trying to have a voice because you never seem to listen, anyway. But I had it all wrong. It wasn't you who needed to hear our voices. It was all those parents, grandparents and neighbors listening at home, horrified at your actions or inactions. They were the ones who needed to hear us, and they were the ones who sign petitions, see you in court."
Erin Dunbar accused the school board of spending taxpayer money to inculcate "critical theory of the Marxist philosophy."
"You have activist teachers using to indoctrinate their kids who are at the mercy of their authority," she said. "That is child abuse. And you have no right to brainwash children into believing that their skin color determines their purpose."
The petition effort began earlier this year, after reports emerged that members of a Facebook group called "Anti-Racist Parents of Loudoun County" had compiled a list of outspoken conservatives and opponents of critical race theory in order to track, hack and "doxx" them.
Many parents have opposed critical race theory (CRT) — a framework that involves deconstructing aspects of society to discover systemic racism beneath the surface — believing it to be divisive and racist. While many have insisted that Virginia's schools do not teach CRT, various government documents contradict this narrative, including a contract showing that Loudoun County Schools paid more than $300,000 to The Equity Collaborative, which begins its trainings with an "Intro to Critical Race Theory."
Parents have also confronted school board members with sexually explicit images from the books "Lawn Boy" and "Gender Queer," which parents say aim to normalize pedophilia.
Education issues in Loudoun County took center stage in the Virginia governor's race, which Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin won in part by championing parental rights in education and pledging to ban CRT in schools. Youngkin has called for many school board members to resign.
If the cases go to trial, a judge or a jury will rule whether or not to remove the board members. If any board member is removed, the board would have 45 days to appoint an interim replacement and 15 days to petition the court for a special election.