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Glenn Youngkin pardons dad who was arrested at school board meeting

 September 11, 2023

On Sunday, Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin issued an unequivocal pardon to Scott Smith, a parent who was detained at a school board meeting following the superintendent's misleading statements about an incident involving his daughter's rape by a skirt-wearing boy, as the Daily Wire reported.

The charges against Smith, which included counts of obstruction of justice and disorderly conduct, stemmed from a heated altercation after an individual tried to tarnish Smith's business reputation with misleading statements.

The Pardon's Details

The pardon statement stated, "After an ensuing verbal confrontation, Scott Thomas Smith was charged with Obstruction of Justice and Disorderly Conduct," and Smith was quickly convicted, even though an appeals court later disqualified the prosecutor due to concerns about "the integrity of the prosecution,"

The pardon also explicitly recognizes Smith's efforts to defend his daughter, a victim of sexual assault.

Gov. Youngkin's statement emphasized that it was necessary to rectify a wrong, suggesting that Smith was improperly portrayed as a threat when he was merely a concerned parent.

Smith's tale resonated with many parents, who felt that educational institutions were sidelining students' safety and quality education. Youngkin's promise to represent these parents significantly influenced his successful gubernatorial campaign in 2021.

Unequal Treatment from Judicial System?

Prosecutor Buta Biberaj, a Democrat known for her usually lenient approach to crime, personally advocated for Smith's incarceration on charges of misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

Due to the nature of the misdemeanor in the General District Court, Smith wasn't granted a jury trial, leading to a swift conviction by a judge.

By way of contrast, Loudoun County Public Schools representative Wayde Byard was absolved of perjury charges, even though he had sent misleading communications to parents on the day of the unfortunate incident involving Smith's daughter.

Byard inaccurately stated that all students were safe, despite the fact that the rapist was still at large. The assailant was later found guilty in juvenile court. However, due to an oversight by Biberaj, he will not be listed on the state's sex offender registry.

Smith's daughter had intended to voice her traumatic experience -- an assault in a school bathroom -- during the very school board meeting that descended into chaos.

This revelation brings a new perspective to the situation, as Smith was portrayed negatively by numerous mainstream media outlets.

Media and the Larger Picture

The media quickly depicted Smith negatively, showcasing him as an example of conservative parents causing disruptions at school board meetings.

Few media outlets tried to delve deeper into Smith's reasons for his actions. Further investigation revealed that the school had mishandled the situation involving Smith's daughter, engaging in dishonesty about yet another assault incident.

"They villainized me and my family from the minute my daughter reported that she was sexually assaulted, pretty much until present time," Smith commented.

Smith acknowledged that Biberaj's actions were a scare tactic to discourage others from voicing their concerns. This tactic seemed to work, as fewer parents have attended school board meetings since the controversy erupted.

The concerned father also indicated his plans to take legal action against the prosecutor for potential misconduct and possibly against the National School Boards Association.