The group is also targeting board members Ian Serotkin (Blue Ridge) and Denise Corbo (At Large), alleging violations of Virginia open meetings laws. But it hasn’t yet filed petitions against the pair.
Fight for Schools, founded by Loudoun father and former Trump administration official Ian Prior, has also voiced displeasure with board members’ support for the school system’s equity initiatives and handling of school closures during the pandemic.
The complaint against Reaser, filed in Loudoun County Circuit Court on Thursday, broadly accuses her of neglect of duty, incompetence and misuse of office.
The filing alleges that Reaser acted inappropriately by joining and participating in closed Facebook groups in which parents, and some other school board members, at times discussed issues including school closures and reopenings.
The filing also accuses Reaser of violating the First Amendment rights of Loudoun residents and parents by prematurely ending public comment sessions and placing limits on who can speak at board meetings. After a string of contentious school board meetings, including one that ended in an arrest, the Loudoun school board shrank speaking time at meetings to 60 seconds, limited the number of speakers able to simultaneously enter the building to 10 and declared that only Loudoun residents, business owners and the parents of Loudoun students can sign up to speak.
Finally, the filing accuses Reaser of mishandling a sexual assault case that has drawn national attention and criticism. This past summer, Loudoun school officials transferred a high school student accused of sexual assault to another high school in the system, where he committed a second sexual assault. Last month, a juvenile court found the teen responsible for the first assault, and he pleaded no contest to the second assault on Monday.
The filing says Reaser had “at least general knowledge” of the first assault but still allowed the student to be transferred to a second high school. Documents previously provided to The Washington Post show that Reaser and other board members learned of the first assault on the day it occurred but had little to no involvement in addressing it afterward.
In a statement Thursday night, Reaser said: “I was chosen by the voters of the Algonkian District to represent them on the Loudoun County School Board for four years. Unfortunately, a small fraction of residents have filed a petition to silence their voices.
“This matter, therefore, is not simply about removing one elected official, but is an effort to take away the rights of thousands of citizens who chose me as their representative using a process that is intended to remove elected officials for neglect of duty, misuse of office, conviction of certain crimes, or incompetence in the performance of duties — none of which are remotely applicable to me.”
Prior of Fight for Schools said in a statement that Reaser had failed to lead and that her stewardship of the board as vice chair had contributed to a “breakdown in trust” between school leaders and parents and residents in Loudoun.
Virginia law requires that recall petitions include signatures equivalent to 10 percent of the people who voted for the targeted official.
The next step in the recall petitions against Sheridan and Reaser is for the petitions to go before a judge, who will decide — separately — if the two cases can go to trial.