Court rules in favor of School Board in boundary suit
Nine Brambleton parents filed suit against the School Board's April 23, 2013, redistricting, which moved students from Briar Woods High School to the new Rock Ridge High School, which will open in September in Loudoun Valley estates, about three miles southeast of Brambleton.
Lead petitioner and attorney for the group Richard Kelsey argued because Briar Woods lays on land proffered by Brambleton developers, Brambleton students were entitled to remain at the school. Additionally, the lawsuit also alleges Kevin Kuesters (Broad Run), Jeff Morse (Dulles) and Eric Hornberger (Ashburn) engaged in an "improper voting alliance.”
“My initial reaction is they took nine communities and sacrificed one so that they could fulfill the needs of every other community,” Kelsey said following the April 23 meeting. “In doing so, they violated the law, they violated the proffers and I think we're going to get it undone.”
Julia B. Judkins, who represented the School Board, said that the law granted the School Board a lot of flexibility in its decision making. She also noted that of the 12 plans proposed by the School Board, fewer students were moved under the adopted Plan 12.
Judge Burke McCahill ultimately sided with Judkins and the board, noting that the board went beyond legal minimums in the boundary process, hosting public hearings, public work sessions and writing rationals for each of the final boundary plans considered.
This is the second boundary case in three years that has been settled in court. Residents from Beacon Hill and Potomac Station filed suit after a December 2011 elementary school boundary decision that moved students to Frederick Douglass Elementary. Judge Thomas Horne sided with the School Board in the case as well, stating that the plaintiffs failed to prove the School Board made its decision in bad faith.