Gov. Youngkin Pardons Father Arrested During School Board Meeting

In addition to a controversial Justice Department memo that seemed to suggest concerned parents should be treated as suspected domestic terrorists, individual parents have faced criminal charges for attempting to speak out in opposition to the current trajectory of the nation’s public school system.

Scott Thomas Smith became perhaps the most glaring example following his 2021 arrest at a school board meeting in Virginia where he sought to confront the board over his daughter’s alleged sexual assault by a biological male who supposedly identified as transgender.

The outraged father accused the Loudoun County School Board superintendent of lying about the situation and authorities took Smith into custody. He was later convicted of disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor charge that he subsequently appealed.

Although the case has been tied up in court since then, Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin stepped in recently to pardon Smith. In a statement on the matter, Youngkin defended the father’s “constitutional right” to address the board amid threats from the community to “damage his reputation.”

The governor went on to denounce the criminal proceedings that followed, including what he described as the actions of an overzealous prosecutor and a conviction based on falsehoods.

“I have decided it is just and appropriate to grant this ABSOLUTE PARDON that reflects Scott Thomas Smith’s factual innocence,” the declaration continued.

In his own statement, Smith expressed gratitude to Youngkin, who won his 2021 election based in large part on a commitment to stand up for parental rights.

“It’s kind of bittersweet because I really looked forward to winning this in court,” Smith acknowledged. “But unfortunately, our justice system is so screwed up right now that I didn’t feel that I could potentially get a fair shot in court. That’s what should scare every American, is that I had to take this because I could not trust our justice system.”

In an interview on Sunday, Youngkin recalled delivering the good news to Smith personally just two days earlier.

“I spoke with Mr. Smith on Friday, and I had the privilege of telling Mr. Smith that I will pardon him, and we did that on Friday,” the governor said. “We righted a wrong. He should’ve never been prosecuted here. This was a dad standing up for his daughter.”