Virginia school board member resigns amid recall effort: Report

Loudoun County, Virginia school board member Beth Barts resigned on Friday, according to The Federalist, a move that came amid a recall effort and reports that the district and school board had covered up sexual assault allegations over a period of years.

“I am grateful to have had a role in empowering students to achieve academic and personal success in supportive and most importantly inclusive school environments. I am especially proud to have participated in helping steer the Loudoun County School System through the uncharted waters of educating students throughout a global pandemic,” Barts said in a press release posted to social media.

“Though not an easy task, I remained committed to doing what was best for all of Loudoun County Public School students and staff,” she added.

A history of controversy

Barts began her tenure on the school board in January 2020 after being elected to the position in 2019. According to The Federalist, the board began allowing the teaching of critical race theory, voted to adopt policies allowing transgender and gender-fluid students to participate in activities that reflect their identified gender, and attempted to silence parents who opposed these policies.

At a June school board meeting, the board had the father of a student arrested after he was not allowed to speak about his daughter being sexually assaulted by a “gender fluid” student in the girl’s bathroom in May — an assault that was never reported to authorities or to other parents in the district. Another man who encouraged parents to keep speaking out after the meeting was declared an unlawful assembly was also arrested for trespassing, The Federalist reported.

The controversy surrounding Barts actually started back in March, when she and other school board members who were part of an “Anti-Racist Parents of Loudoun County” Facebook group were found to have compiled a list of names or parents who opposed the district’s racial equity policies.

A recall effort started at that time for Barts and other members, with those behind the recall saying that the board members’ participation in private groups violated rules against them “meeting” behind closed doors.

The school board itself censured Barts at the time for bullying parents and for inappropriate interactions with others in the community, The Federalist reported.

She’s not alone

While it is clear that Barts has much to answer for about her actions as a member of the board, the group behind the recall made it clear that her resignation is only the first step to change. “We have made known our displeasure with her actions as a school board member over the past several months, but today she has done the right thing. Her former colleagues should take notice,” parent group Fight for Schools said in a statement.

“The community should know, however, that the problems at Loudoun County Public Schools and on the school board will go well beyond one school board member,” the group’s statement added. “We will continue to shine a light on Loudoun County Public Schools and will keep fighting until we have a school board of common sense, non-partisan members and a superintendent who is accountable to parents and tells the truth.”

No doubt Barts’ resignation is sending shockwaves through the Democratic Party and the Biden administration, even though it appears that they have made her a sacrificial lamb for the cause. Apparently, Democrats haven’t done enough to silence parents and any community dissent at this point, but they are working on it.

Parents expecting to be involved in decisions about their kids’ schools? What do they think this is, America?

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