Loudoun County Public Schools

Loudoun County School Board Member Steps Down Over Threats

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A Loudoun County School Board member says she is stepping down to protect her family after receiving continued frightening threats.

A school board member and Loudoun County Public Schools shared examples of emails, messages and posts sent to her and her colleagues. One said a public hanging is in order. Another said they should be dragged from their beds and hanged by the neck.

School board member Beth Barts told News4 the attacks started during the pandemic, then intensified in recent months.

“They started to veer toward personal attacks, referencing my family," she said.

Two weeks ago, a Loudoun County sheriff's deputy parked outside of her home with their blue lights activated, Barts said.

The deputy told her family the lights were to make the police presence visible to ward off any potential threat.

Barts said something had to change.

“They weren't gonna always be there, and I needed to take my life back and make sure my children and my family was safe," she said.

She announced her resignation from the board the next day, effective Nov. 2.

The resignation comes amid an attempt to remove Barts from her seat by an activist group who points to Barts’ participation in a private Facebook group where a member openly called to gather information about parents opposing critical race theory, find hackers to shut down their websites and publicly expose them.

Barts denies participating in that attempt.

"Outreach and communication was my number one priority,” she said. 

"I don't believe telling constituents and the community of my concerns … violated any code of ethics,” Barts said.

Since announcing her resignation, the threats against her have cooled off, Barts said.

"I am proud of what we were able to accomplish,” Barts said of her time on the board. “Would I do it again? Absolutely not."

Loudoun County's school board meetings still have heightened security, and several other board members are still serving and still receiving threats.

After Barts leaves the school board next week, the board will begin the process of appointing a replacement. The replacement will serve until the next general election in 2023 or a special election.

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