A group of voters in Mason District have filed a petition seeking the removal of Fairfax County School Board member Sandra Evans. The petition garnered 1307 signatures, representing more than 10% of the voters in Mason District. The petition seeks Evans’ removal from the School Board:
For neglect of duty, misuse of office, or incompetence in the performance of duties when that neglect of duty, misuse of office, or incompetence in the performance of duties has a material adverse effect upon the conduct of the office” per Virginia Code Section 24.2-332.
The petition states Ms. Evans ignored the FCPS survey of students and community that soundly rejected (56% No, 35% Yes, 8% NA) a name change for J.E.B. Stuart H.S. In addition, Ms. Evans would not even consider “Stuart” as a proposed new name but moved to rename the school “Justice High School,” disregarding the voters’ second and third place choices, as well.
Ms. Evans announced yesterday that she will not run for reelection to the School Board seat she currently occupies in next year’s County-wide elections. The Fairfax County Republican Committee supports both the petition and Ms. Evans’ decision to vacate her position next year.
The press release from the group that filed the petition follows.
PETITION FILED WITH COUNTY
SEEKING REMOVAL OF FAIRFAX SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER SANDRA SUE EVANS
Falls Church, VA: Petition papers with 1307 Mason District voter signatories were filed with the Fairfax County Clerk of the Court today. The petition calls for the removal of Sandra Sue Evans, Mason District’s School Board Representative. Virginia Code Section 24.2-332 states that, “Upon petition, a circuit court may remove from office any elected officer or officer who has been appointed to fill an elective office, residing within the jurisdiction of the court: 1. For neglect of duty, misuse of office, or incompetence in the performance of duties when that neglect of duty, misuse of office, or incompetence in the performance of duties has a material adverse effect upon the conduct of the office…”
The 1307 signatories represent more than the required 10% of 2015 voters for the Mason District school board position. Prior to filing the petition, the signatories were meticulously crosschecked with State Voter records to ensure that they were viable.
“Evans’ actions in renaming J.E.B. Stuart H.S. have made a mockery of our democratic process and representative government,” says Ron Martinson, a participant of the Ad Hoc Committee appointed to consider whether to rename J.E.B. Stuart H.S., a resident of the high school community and father of J.E.B. Stuart H.S. alumnae. “Evans deliberately ignored the majority of her constituents and students who soundly rejected a name change. She obtained the assistance of a special interest group and non-community members who overtly pressured and harassed residents and students and disrupted the harmony in our school and neighborhoods. In doing so, she blatantly violated her solemn Oath of Office in which she swore to impartiality.”
“Evans’ flagrant violation of FCPS (Fairfax County Public Schools) Regulation 8170.7 is a sorry example for the students of J.E.B. Stuart H.S. Contrary to what students learn in their government class, Evans proved that elected officials can and do operate outside the law,” observed Vince Nettuno, an Ad Hoc Committee member, and J.E.B. Stuart H.S. alumnus.
The Petition maintains:
- Evans changed the name of J.E.B. Stuart High School without compelling need or sufficient community support as required by FCPS R.8170.7.
- Evans ignored the FCPS name change survey of students and community that soundly rejected a name change. (56% No, 35% Yes, 8% NA)
- In violation of R. 8170.7 Evans made a motion on July 28, 2016 to rename the school.
- Evans offered, advocated, and voted in favor of her motion to change the name of J.E.B. Stuart High School knowing her motion was not in compliance with Regulation 8170.7.
- Evans’ motion passed and resulted in School Board action that is an explicit violation of R. 8170.7.
- Per R. 8170.7, the Superintendent arranged for a community vote on new name proposals. “Stuart” was the #1 choice of a new name voted by the community.
- Evans made a mockery of the process by failing to even consider “Stuart” as the new name at the Oct. 26, 2017 School Board meeting and instead moved to rename the school “Justice High School,” thereby disregarding the second and third place choices of the voters as well.