A group called Citizens for Government Integrity LLC had filed a petition to remove Evans from office alleging “neglect of duty, misuse of office, and incompetence” during her leadership to change the name of JEB Stuart High School.
“I’m pleased to have this frivolous and irresponsible petition put to rest by the court’s dismissal action,” Evans said. “The petition organizers themselves asked for the dismissal, an acknowledgement that they knew they were about to fail in court yet again.”
The school board voted to change the name of the school in July 2017 and adopted the name Justice High School in October 2017.
Citizens for Government Integrity had collected 1,307 signatures from Mason District voters on the recall petition.
According to school board policy, the board could consider changing a school’s name if “a compelling need exists.” The petition argued there was no compelling need to change the name of Stuart High School and that Evans ignored community input after 56 percent of Mason residents said in a survey they opposed a name change.
According to Ballotpedia, Evans disputed the allegations that she did not take the community’s opinions seriously, noting she spent a lot of time reading comments from the public and that most people’s objections to a name change had to do with the cost.
The name “Justice” incorporates the three alternative names on the survey, which when added up, got more votes than retaining Stuart.
Evans filed a motion to quash the recall petition on Dec. 21 because the Virginia Supreme Court had ruled on March 1, 2018, in a different case that the signatures of 10 percent of the registered voters on a recall petition must be signed “under penalty of perjury” – and that had not been done in this case.
Evans announced last month that she will not seek re-election after her term is up at the end of 2019. Jessica Swanson is running for the Mason seat on the school board.