Make of this story what you will. An angry Libertarian activist just managed to remove five members from a school board.
Beth Ann Rosica is the head of her own consulting business; she's also an active Libertarian and advocate in the Greater Philly corner of Pennsylvania. She writes regularly for Broad and Liberty ("Thought-provoking and shareable ideas for free thinkers in Greater Philadelphia and beyond"), is tied to Independent Women's Voice (a right-tilted Club for Growth and Leonard Leo funded advocacy group) and has been a vocal opponent of vaccine and masking mandates. And she's the executive director of Back to School PA, a PAC funded by venture capitalist Paul Martino, teamed up with Clarice Shillinger, a former GOP staffer who's been busy launching lawsuits and school board takeover bids around the state (you can read more about the group here).
Anti-maskers in PA got a big boost last December when the PA Supreme Court threw out a state mandate for school masking based on the argument that the state department of health had no authority to impose such a mandate. Most districts took that as a cue that they could not impose mandates of their own.
Not West Chester Area School District, or other districts in Chester County. There the board members voted to keep masking rules in place. Anti-maskers weren't having it, and Beth Ann Rosica took the board to court, filing a petition to have the five board members removed, claiming “permanent and irreparable harm due to their fabricating, feigning or intentionally exaggerating or including a medical symptom or disease which results in a potentially harmful medical evaluation or treatment to the child and as such, the (school directors) are to be held accountable.”
This week the court granted her wish. The board members are removed from office, with the court directing Rosica and the Board to each propose some replacement members, and the school district and the board members to share the costs of the proceedings.
It's not clear exactly why the judge reached this conclusion; Judge William Mahon reportedly wrote that his decision came after there was no response to the petition from the school district or its counsel. Attorneys have filed a motion to reconsider arguing that April 4 was the actual deadline for responding to the petition.
This is only the first of several such court challenges; four other Chester County districts have been challenged, using the same template that Rosica used. That was created by Shannon Grady, CEO of GOAthletics and author of The Lactate Revolution (her LinkedIn profile says she's "the global leader in application of lactate dynamics for human performance optimization, a nationally recognized expert in the field of applied Physiology and Exercise Science, with over fifteen years as an industry leader in sports performance management"). Says Grady, "I’m not trying to ruin school board members’ lives or sue them for money. It’s just, know your place.” Also, “We do not co-parent with our school district, the CCHD, or the state,”
It's hard to tell exactly where this is headed next, but for the moment, the usual folks are delighted. One observer cheered that now students will not have to wear their masks of slavery. And on Twitter...
They've got a list of people to cancel, and they're coming for them. Stay tuned.
Update: The judge got the district's attorney to admit that he messed up by miscounting days, and then rescinded the order. So the district gas a school board again-- for the moment. The petition to remove the board members will move forward.