On Friday afternoon Beth Barts, one of the members of the Loudoun County School Board, informed on her social media that she will be resigning from her post on the board. Her decision comes after the Daily Wire made scathing revelations over the way the school board failed to report a sexual assault case against a 15-year-old student in one of their schools and how the student accused of the sexual assault was only apprehended.
In her Facebook post announcing her resignation, Barts said that it was a decision made “after much thought and consideration” and that her resignation will become effective on November 2nd, 2021. Barts was a very controversial figure in a school board that has already been under heavy scrutiny, she has been facing stiff opposition by many parents in the county, with the parent group Fight for Schools filing a petition for her removal back in August, a proposal that received the support of 1,860 signatures.
Before her resignation, Barts had already been censured and stripped of her committee assignments back in March of 2021, with the board voting 7-0-1 against Barts. This censure came after it was revealed that she was part of a Facebook group called “Anti-Racist Parents of Loudoun County”, where the members shared lists with the information of parents who were opposing the board’s racial equity efforts. The School board had also previously reprimanded Barts in November 2020, citing “unauthorized disclosure of confidential, attorney-client information”.
Although a later criminal investigation did not find any reasons to levy charges against Beth, her involvement in the scandal had already tarnished her image with many members of the community, which is why Fight for Schools submitted a petition for her removal in early September.
In a news release emailed to the press, Laura Zorc from Freedom Works said that Barts’ resignation was a “victory for parents and students in Loudoun County” and that is an “example for the nation of what a parent-led movement can do”.
While Beth Barts might have been a school board member embroiled in multiple scandals over the last year, her resignation did not happen in a vacuum. The Daily Wire’s exclusive reporting over the way the school board handled the rape of the daughter of Scott Smith, who was allegedly assaulted by a biological males student wearing a skirt at a gender-neutral bathroom, who months later got arrested by local police after assaulting another student at a different school.
The school decided not to immediately contact the police over the issue and that they wanted to handle the issue internally. After hearing this, Smith was visibly upset at the school and started protesting that decision, which is when the school decided to call the police, but to handle Smith and not the sexual assault.
Smith then went viral after he was dragged by police officers during a school board meeting after school board members said they were no recorded cases of sexual assault by transgender students in their schools, and after another parent confronted Smith’s wife over her daughter’s sexual assault.
In an interview with Fox News, Smith said that he decided not to talk about his daughter’s sexual assault since he was told by his lawyers and close friends that not speaking out over the issue would be the best thing to do if he wanted to get justice for his daughter. However, Smith decided to speak out after the same student was arrested for another sexual assault case in a different school, the suspect’s name cannot be revealed since he is a minor.
Although initially, the Loudoun School Board did not comment on the matter, the board eventually issued a statement saying that the Board members were completely unaware of the sexual assault allegations until the Daily Wire reported it earlier this week. The statement also says that the principals of each school did follow the proper procedure and informed local police authorities of both sexual assaults.
Smith has filed a lawsuit against Loudoun county, arguing that the county tried to cover up her daughter’s assault, saying that the superintendent of the school alleged during a public meeting that there was no record of the sexual assault, despite the local sheriff’s office conducting a two months investigation on the assault. The suit was filed under Title IX of the U.S civil rights law, which prohibits discrimination in schools based in gender.
The scandal in Loudoun County School Board comes as the issue of schooling and education is in the center stage of American politics, with conservatives accusing school boards of imposing CRT in their kids’ curriculums and liberals saying these accusations are false, which has lead to spirited and sometimes chaotic debates in school board meetings across the country.
A few weeks ago, the National School Boards Association issued a letter to the Department of Justice saying that the “threats against public schools have increased” and that such protests could be considered as “domestic terrorism” and “hate crimes”, to which the DOJ responded by issuing a memorandum saying the Federal government will be addressing these alleged threats. In response, the Pennsylvania School Boards Association voted to withdraw from the NSBA due to their letter to the DOJ.