A judge has rejected a petition effort started by parents who were angry at school closings linked to the pandemic and sought to remove a member of the Northern Virginia school board from his post.
Fairfax County Judge Richard Gardiner dismissed the petition on Friday after a special prosecutor, Albemarle County Commonwealth Attorney James Hingeley, recommended it be dismissed.
An advocacy group called the Open FCPS Coalition started the petition against Fairfax County School Board member Elaine Tholen, accusing her of neglecting her duty when she and other board members suspended learning in person for about 12 months during the pandemic.
After the group collected more than 5,000 signatures, a judge was required under Virginia law to hold a hearing.
Fairfax County Public Schools on Friday released a statement praising the judge’s decision, saying he saw the petition “for what it was – an attempt by a small number of people to substitute their judgment to that of the entire elected school board “.
The petition against Tholen is the first of several launched against members of the school to appear before a judge. Campaigns of removal demands have also been launched against several progressive prosecutors in Northern Virginia.