On Tuesday night, Loudoun County Public Schools will welcome spectators back into a school board meeting for the first time since the raucous outbreak back in June, when a meeting about a transgender student policy was shut down and evacuated and a man was arrested.
Among the community members expected to address the board is the leader of a new activist group called Loudoun 4 All. Rasha Saad said she started the group to combat conservative misinformation and attempts to remove school board members with recalls.
Saad is a new face in the ever-crowded parking lot outside of the school board’s administration building.
"These recalls are literally voter suppression," Saad said.
The recall attempts are the product of Fight For Schools, a political action committee led by conservative activist and former Trump administration employee Ian Prior.
Fight For Schools has filed recall cases in court against multiple board members who were all supported by Democrats. While history would suggest the pending recall cases are unlikely to be successful in court, Saad said they have an impact outside of court and influence voters.
“The damage is going to be to the uproar of, 'Oh my gosh, we the people tried to recall and the courts are against us now and this is against us,' and that's what it's going to be. It's just all about elections and all about getting the vote out there,” Saad said.
Fight For Schools contends that the recalls are valid, telling News4 that “applying the law to hold government officials accountable is the very essence of a representative democracy.”
Saad acknowledges that the conservative attempt to attack the school board has worked, at least to some extent. Each meeting, members weather an earful from public speakers.
Board member Ian Serotkin said that public comments take up too much time when meetings routinely have more than 100 people signed up.
He said it's delaying the board's work, and Tuesday he will propose changes to the public comment section that would limit comments at regular board meetings to just 20 people, selected via random lottery of those who sign up.
He'll also propose adding an entirely new meeting each month that is just time for public comment, without a limit on the number of speakers nor how much time they have.
It should be an interesting pitch in a board meeting that will be full for the first time in months.
News4 reached out to Serotkin, but an LCPS spokesperson said it would be inappropriate to comment on the proposal.