When concerned taxpayer Jon Tigges showed up to the Loudoun County School Board meeting to express his concerns with the “moral decay” he saw spreading throughout the district, the last thing he expected was to end up in the back of a “paddy wagon” with a court date for a trespassing charge.
Tigges is one of the more than 250 people who signed up to speak during the public comment section of the meeting on Tuesday night to oppose the newest transgender policy proposals mandating employees use students’ preferred pronouns and accommodate gender-confused students’ restroom preferences.
“I was honestly not expecting to be able to speak because of how they had rigged the whole setup,” Tigges told The Federalist. “…I am a concerned taxpayer who is concerned about the moral decay across our whole country but specifically the indoctrination of children, and things that just aren’t true. So, to be fair, I’ve been encouraging other people to be there, I figured I needed to show up. I was gonna tell everyone else they need to be there.”
What Tigges found when he showed up to the meeting and pushed his way through the door to the front row were hundreds of people in the community who were outraged at the government school district. Some of the people were upset that the school board wasn’t doing enough to push agendas on students, lobbing insults at Christians and receiving “boos and hisses” in the process.
“Immediately the school board got up, walked out, and said they weren’t coming back until people behave themselves,” Tigges explained “When they came back out they said if it happens again if anyone is disruptive, they would call off the meeting.”
When a former Republican state senator stood up to speak and slammed the district for indoctrinating children, however, the crowd couldn’t contain themselves and the school board unanimously voted to abruptly end the meeting.
“It was just completely on spot on,” Tigges said. “There was cheering. It was cheering for someone, not against anybody just spontaneous. Pretty normal behavior that you would expect and the school board then called for a vote. Every single person on the school board voted unanimously to stop the meeting and exit.”
Tigges said everyone was ordered to leave but he didn’t think anyone should give up their possible last chance to speak before the August proposal vote.
“I just felt led to realize that we could still speak. It’s a public forum, a public room. It had been scheduled until seven o’clock for people to speak. I stood up to encourage folks to stay and if they had something to say whether they were on the left or the right, didn’t matter. They’d be heard and we’d respect one another and do so and so people started doing that without any amplification at all and you could hear them fine because it was a peaceful assembly,” Tigges said.
Not long after, however, the school superintendent declared an unlawful assembly.
“That’s when they started going around and threatening everyone individually. ‘You’re going to be arrested for trespass, you’re gonna be arrested for trespass, you’re here and a lot of people were intimidated and believing, but there still was a handful of folks, we still had that amplifier and we were gonna continue until we were done,” Tigges said.
That’s when he was handcuffed, arrested, and driven around in a police van until the officers charged him with trespassing before being released.
“If we don’t have a right to free speech in a public forum, where we’re invited to come in to speak, and someone can just shut that down willy nilly, and then use law enforcement to drive people out of there, then there is no free speech,” Tigges said.
Two arrests made at the Loudoun County, Virginia school board meeting after it was declared an unlawful assembly and some parents here to protest against critical race theory and a transgender policy refused to leave right away #CriticalRaceTheory pic.twitter.com/dsZDrqJ0Gp
— Gabriella Borter (@gabriellaborter) June 22, 2021
Tigges already has legal counsel lined up for a court date but he said the fight is not over.
“What we’ve realized is that there’s a need to bring together all these disparate groups … we banded together and started a bigger, a better command and control capability where we’re starting to map out, not just defensive maneuvers, but offensive strategy,” Tigges said. “People do have to be in it for the long haul and I’m committed.”
While Tigges decided to keep his kids out of Loudoun County schools, he said he is still invested in the direction the district is going.
“I do care about my neighbors and I care about friends that have kids there and the indoctrination that’s going on is awful,” Tigges said.