Featured Image
Loudoun County Sheriff Mike ChapmanPhoto Credit: WJLA 7News/Screenshot

ASHBURN, Virginia (LifeSiteNews) — Police in Loudoun County, Virginia launched an investigation last week after a whistleblower revealed alleged violent online threats against parents who opposed radical curricula during school board meetings and others. The county’s sheriff has called the threats “disturbing and almost demonic.”

In a Wednesday announcement, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office said it had “opened an investigation into potential threats made within the ‘Loudoun Love Warriors’ Facebook group, following a citizen complaint today.”

The move came after a whistleblower shared a trove of hundreds of messages from the so-called “Loudoun Love Warriors” group with local ABC affiliate WJLA, among which were possible threats aimed at conservative county residents who decried leftist curricula during school board meetings.

The whistleblower also shared a list from the group of more than 100 alleged targets, including parents, elected officials, political candidates, and Loudoun County’s Cornerstone Chapel and its affiliated school. Among the officials named in the list were Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin, Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman, and Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears.

RELATED: Public school teachers compile list of parents who dissent from racist liberal curriculum, plan to ‘expose’ them

According to posts reviewed by the outlet, members of the Facebook group allegedly expressed a desire to destroy the lives and livelihoods of contrary-minded people.

Messages viewed by the outlet include remarks such as: “Im [sic] telling you. SOMETHING has to happen to one of them.” Another post read: “Something public and permanent.” One commenter said: “Lives needs [sic] to be ruined beyond repair.” “Lets actually destroy them. Grind them,” someone wrote.

Other comments suggested it was time to “stop protesting and start fighting back against these people,” and try doing “something different to shut them down.” “Im soooo ready to show up with guns lol,” one message read. Another suggested a person’s “life needs to be PERMANENTLY disassembled.”

The rhetoric appears to have had real-world impacts; members also reportedly collaborated to dox one man who spoke out at a school board meeting. Another local dad targeted by the group was fired from his job.

One of the members of the “Loudoun Love Warriors” group, Heather Gottlieb (who admitted to sending emails to the employers of the group’s targets), told WJLA that the group “is standing up for those in our community that are bullied.” However, she acknowledged “some things said in that chat that probably shouldn’t have been said.”

“They said that they wanted to curb stomp me,” said Loudoun County mom Alisha Brand, one of the parents allegedly targeted by the group. Brand told “Fox & Friends” on Friday that the proposed violence amounted to a threat of murder.

“This is murder, it’s a felony, and this is what I was threatened with by these activists who are tied to our political candidates,” Brand said.

In its March 9 article, WJLA reported that the “Loudoun Love Warriors” group “includes people who appear to be associated with Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney Buta Biberaj, County Supervisor Juli Briskman, School Board Chair Ian Serotkin, school board member Brenda Sheridan, school board member Atoosa Reaser, school board member Erika Ogedegbe, school board candidate Anne Donohue, sheriff candidate Craig Buckley, and Chair Phyllis Randall.”

However, “[n]one of these elected officials personally made any threats.”

According to WJLA, Loudoun County Supervisor candidate Puja Khanna “appears to have been a member of the ‘Loudoun Love Warriors’ group when the threats happened.” The outlet said Ogedegbe also appeared to have been a member of the group before the threats were made. She told the outlet she had already unsubscribed from the group and wasn’t aware of the recent conversations.

Biberaj, Serotkin, Reaser, Donohue, Buckley, and Randall have released statements condemning the violent remarks. Briskman declined to comment. Reactions from Khanna and Sheridan were not mentioned in the report.

RELATED: Former student delivers powerful speech against LGBT agenda at Catholic school board meeting

In attention to triggering involvement by law enforcement, the alleged threats have also generated condemnation by elected officials in the state.

“I’m just astounded,” Gov. Youngkin told WJLA on Wednesday. “I truly am astounded that the suggestion that there could be an organized effort in order to truly tear people down and hurt them; done by people who seemed to have ties to elected officials, at least reported as so.”

“We got to get to the bottom of all of this and it can’t stand, it just can’t,” he said. “It’s a truly, truly shocking revelation if it’s all true. And I know we’re going to get to the bottom of it and hold people accountable as appropriate.”

Lt. Gov. Earle-Sears slammed the so-called “Loudoun Love Warriors,” arguing “there’s nothing but hate in that group.” That sentiment was also expressed in a statement by the Loudoun County Republican Committee.

“The group calls itself ‘Loudoun Love Warriors.’ But there is nothing about love with this group,” the Republicans wrote in a May 10 statement. “Their messages detail violent, personal threats, doxing of addresses, and conspiracy to harm Loudoun County parents speaking at school board meetings in support of parental rights, academic rigor, school safety, and special education improvements.”

Texas Congressional Rep. Chip Roy and Virginia 5th Congressional District Rep. Bob Good also urged school board chair Ian Serotkin in a letter to investigate the Facebook group.

In comments to WJLA on Monday, Chapman said his department is taking the matter “very seriously” and will do a “deep dive investigation” exploring the messages from all angles.

“It is very disturbing and almost demonic some of the things that are being said,” Chapman said. “This is unacceptable.”

The sheriff confirmed that individuals with connections to members of the local government were connected with the group, though he said the extent of their involvement will have to be determined through further investigation.

Meanwhile, this is far from the first time Loudoun County has been at the center of controversy. In 2021, it became a flashpoint for highly publicized protests at school board meetings as parents pushed back against radical LGBT ideology and divisive Critical Race Theory (CRT) in the county’s schools. Policies surrounding transgender identification with regard to bathrooms were widely condemned after the investigative report revealing that a girl was raped in a bathroom by a transgender-identifying boy.

Controversy over the real-world impacts of radical ideology in the classroom have been credited for the groundswell of support for conservative causes and political candidates, including the election of Gov. Youngkin, who last year became the first Republican to lead Virginia since 2009.