Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin has granted an “absolute pardon” to Scott Smith, a father who was arrested at a school board meeting in June 2021. Smith’s arrest followed a contentious incident where he confronted a community member who threatened to spread false information about his business during a Loudoun County School Board meeting. He was charged with Obstruction of Justice and Disorderly Conduct, leading to a conviction that was later called into question due to concerns about the integrity of the prosecution.
The pardon issued by Governor Youngkin highlights the fact that Smith was falsely accused of “domestic terrorism” and “hate crimes” while advocating for his daughter, who had been a victim of sexual assault. The document acknowledges Smith’s factual innocence and the ordeal he endured as a result of the charges.
Scott Smith’s case garnered significant attention and became a rallying point for parents concerned about student safety and academic standards in Virginia schools. Governor Youngkin’s promise to support these parents played a pivotal role in his election to office.
During the legal proceedings, Smith faced a misdemeanor conviction without a jury trial, and the case dragged on for years, taking a toll on his finances and emotional well-being. Smith expressed gratitude for the pardon, noting that he had lost faith in the justice system’s ability to provide a fair outcome.
The incident that led to Smith’s arrest occurred as the school board discussed a policy allowing transgender students to use restrooms of their choice. Smith’s daughter had intended to share her experience of being raped by a male student wearing a skirt in a school bathroom just weeks prior. A confrontation with a radical activist and a subsequent struggle with law enforcement ensued.
Smith’s case became a symbol of conservative parents’ frustration with school board decisions and their alleged disregard for student safety. The National School Boards Association even likened him to a domestic terrorist, leading to federal attention.
Scott Smith plans to take legal action against the prosecutor for misconduct and may also consider legal action against the National School Boards Association.
Governor Youngkin’s pardon aligns with his campaign promise to prioritize parental rights in education. He is set to host a “Parents Matter” conversation in Loudoun County, a move that has drawn attention from both supporters and critics.
In a separate development, a member of a liberal activist group known as the Loudoun Love Warriors was arrested on felony charges, raising questions about whether the prosecutor, Buta Biberaj, will pursue or drop the charges.