A Loudoun County man who was arrested at a school board meeting addressing transgender rights in 2021 has been pardoned by Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin.
Scott Smith was arrested at a school board meeting in June 2021 and was charged with disorderly conduct after a contentious meeting where Smith alleged his daughter was sexually assaulted in a high school bathroom. It is unclear how the sexual assault, which was alleged to have happened at the hands of someone from another school, had to do with transgender rights.
Youngkin announced an absolute pardon to Smith on Sunday, who Youngkin’s office said in a news release was “wrongfully prosecuted and convicted for standing up for his daughter.”
Youngkin, who was swept into office in large part due to a strong parent rights movement, had been silent on the issue until recently.
“Scott Smith is a dedicated parent who’s faced unwarranted charges in his pursuit to protect his daughter. Scott’s commitment to his child despite the immense obstacles is emblematic of the parental empowerment movement that started in Virginia,” said Youngkin. “In Virginia, parents matter and my resolve to empower parents in unwavering. A parent’s fundamental right to be involved in their child’s education, upbringing, and care should never be undermined by bureaucracy, school divisions or the state.
“I am pleased to grant Scott Smith this pardon and help him and his family put this injustice behind them once and for all.”
Circuit Court Judge James Brown said in June he believed Smith’s behavior could have incited violence and agreed with the Commonwealth’s Attorney that the case should go to trial.
According to media reports, a September 25 jury trial was pending for Smith. He had originally also faced a charge of obstructing justice but that charge was dismissed after an apparent clerical error by a General District Court judge.
Court records allege that Smith had his fist clenched by his leg, leaned forward, and called a woman at the school board meeting an expletive.
In June, Smith expressed his frustrations about the court process saying he did nothing wrong and called on Youngkin to speak up on the issue which had gained national attention.
“My feeling is we had another leftist judge in here. He basically said I deserve to be slapped. That’s worse than what I did. Cussing? He cursed. I am tired of Loudoun County judges,” Smith said, according to a WJLA article. “I am tired of the law system here. I am absolutely tired of it, and it’s finally time after two years, I have yet to hear from our Governor Glenn Younkin about any of these matters.”