LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — Tuesday night, WDVM reported on a Loudoun County School Board public hearing that was cut short after several community members wouldn’t settle down in the board room while speakers were speaking to the board. LCPS spokesperson Wayde Byard said he’s never seen anything like it before.
“In 21 years as a public information officer, I’ve never seen a school board meeting interrupted like that…I’ve never seen a meeting halted; I’ve never seen the Sherriff’s Office have to clear the room,” said Byard.
Only 51 out of 259 speakers could speak before the board unanimously voted to end the meeting early. Speakers addressed a range of topics during the public hearing.
Board Chair Brenda Sheridan said in a statement released Tuesday night, “Tonight, the Loudoun County School Board meeting was interrupted by those who wish to use the public comment period to disrupt our work and disrespect each other,” referring to speakers who brought up Critical Race Theory.
She called some of the speakers “opponents of the school board who are pushing false stories about ‘Critical Race Theory.’”
LCPS has not said if there will be another public hearing to allow more speakers to come before the board.
In the closing of Sheridan’s letter, she stated:
“This time should have been used for community members to share their views with the board and the public. Even after numerous attempts to ask for decorum, so everyone could speak, those attending insisted on continued interruptions in an attempt to delay and disrupt the proceeding. These politically motivated antics ought to end. But if they don’t, know that they won’t delay our work.”
According to the Loudoun County Sherriff’s Office, after the public was dismissed from the boardroom, a fight broke out between attendees leading to one man’s arrest. Another man refused to leave and was charged with trespassing.