The Washington Post
After video, candidates exit school board race
Fairfax hopefuls’ reaction to student with autism drew strong disapproval
Two people running for the Fairfax County School Board have dropped out of the race days after they were captured on video laughing at a student with autism for his performance of the national anthem at a board meeting.
Stephanie Lundquist-arora and Harry Jackson, whose reaction to the student drew strong disapproval from parents online, both exited the race this week. Jackson told ABC7 News on Monday that he was no longer a school board candidate. Lundquist-arora wrote in a post Thursday on the Independent Women’s Network website that she was withdrawing because her laughter at the student had drawn too much harassment, which threatened her ability to perform “my most important job — being a mother.”
“Being the target of constant political and personal attacks comes at too high of a price,” she wrote in the post. “It significantly distracted me from my family — my raison d’etre.”
Neither Jackson nor Lundquist-arora responded to a request for comment Friday.
The footage capturing the candidates’ laughter appears in an episode of “Shadow Board,” a livestreamed Youtube show of four adults — including Jackson and Lundquist-arora — who react to the Fairfax school board’s live meetings. The video shows Jackson and Lundquist-arora laughing as the student, a D.c.-area singer and songwriter, sings the national anthem.
“Did that just happen?” Jackson asks, adding later, “I was still processing what we just experienced.”
Lundquist-arora and Jackson previously told The Washington Post in statements that they were sorry for laughing at the student. Lundquist-arora said, “I was mistaken and my laughter was inappropriate,” noting that she emailed the singer’s mother to apologize.
Jackson said he was “sorry to the singer and his family for my response.”