Loudoun County official brands non-partisan concerned parents group 'alt-right'

Ian Prior speaks about latest effort to remove embattled Loudoun County School Board members

Juli Briskman, a member of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, branded a group of concerned parents who mobilized to challenge school board members “alt-right,” even though the group includes Black and Jewish parents. 

The parent organization Fight for Schools recently obtained enough signatures to challenge all the remaining school board members who were in the private Facebook group that launched a campaign against parents who oppose critical race theory in the classroom. Fight for Schools filed the petitions against the school board chair last week. Briskman made her claim in a tweet responding to those petitions.

“[Thank you, Loudoun for All] for a factual & thorough debunking of the alt-right FFS petitions,” Briskman tweeted on Thursday. “If they want to fight for schools they should support teacher pay increases, more mental health resources and ending the school to prison pipeline.”

Twitter screenshot.
(Twitter screenshot)

“As a Jewish American, I am completely offended,” Elicia Brand, a Loudoun County mom who has volunteered with Fight for Schools for months, told Fox News on Sunday. “I take that as a personal affront.”

“I support [Fight for Schools Executive Director] Ian Prior and everything that he is doing for the schools and the parents in every way. I know many people in the Fight for Schools organization, and not one of them is alt-right, not one of them is far-right, not one of them is racist,” Brand said. “She is putting political ideology and political agenda before the needs of the citizens of Loudoun County, and she owes every one of us an apology.”

Ian Prior headshot
(Ian Prior)

Brand told Fox News that she has volunteered with Fight for Schools since its inception and that she started her own organization, Army of Parents, in part to support FFS’s efforts.

“To call us alt-right is a punch in the gut, a stab in the heart for all parents who fight for their children,” she added.

“I think it’s absurd,” Joe Mobley, a Black father of four in Loudoun County, told Fox News on Sunday. “It’s an ad-hominem,” he added, arguing that Briskman used her attack to distract from the idea that “parents shouldn’t have a say in what goes on in the classroom because your kids belong to the state.”

Joe Mobley speaks at a Fight for Schools event.
(Fight for Schools)

“Obviously, as a Black dude it’s weird to be called a White nationalist,” Mobley added. He noted that Briskman launched her political career after publicly “flipping off” the president at the time, Donald Trump.

“Instead of calling us names, meet with us and have a chit-chat,” he suggested.

“Ms. Briskman’s false and defamatory statement is an attack on a diverse coalition of thousands of Loudoun County residents that are utilizing a legal process to remove school board members that have violated the law and their own code of conduct,” Prior told Fox News on Sunday. “The best thing Ms. Briskman could do, as an elected official, is publicly retract her statement and cease and desist from regularly attacking her constituents on social media.” 

“But we aren’t holding our breath,” he added.

Official government photo of Algonkian District Supervisor Juli Briskman.

Briskman did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment by press time.

In order to remove an elected official in Virginia, petitioners must acquire a number of signatures equal to 10% of the votes cast in the previous election for that office. Last week, Prior to Fox News that Fight for Schools had acquired enough signatures to remove Loudoun County School Board Chair Brenda Sheridan (Sterling District), Board Vice-Chair Atoosa Reaser (Algonkian District), Ian Serotkin (Blue Ridge District), and Denise Corbo, the at-large member.

The petition effort began earlier this year, after reports emerged that members of a Facebook group called “Anti-Racist Parents of Loudoun County” had compiled a list of outspoken conservatives and opponents of critical race theory in order to track, hack, and “doxx” them. Many parents have opposed critical race theory (CRT) — a framework that involves deconstructing aspects of society to discover systemic racism beneath the surface — believing it to be divisive and racist. 

The parent movement against CRT in education, particularly in Loudoun County, helped Republican Glenn Youngkin prevail in the governor’s race earlier this month. 

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