FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) - Two candidates for the Fairfax County School Board have dropped out of the race after they were captured on video laughing at a student with autism who sang the national anthem at a meeting. The Washington Post reports that Stephanie Lundquist-Arora and Harry Jackson both left the race after their reaction to the student drew strong disapproval from parents online.
Jackson told ABC 7News that he was no longer a candidate. Lundquist-Arora wrote in a post 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.”
The footage appears in “Shadow Board,” a live-streamed YouTube show of four adults - including Jackson and Lundquist-Arora - who react to the Fairfax school board’s live meetings.
“Did that just happen?” Jackson asks, adding later, “I was still processing what we just experienced.”
Lundquist-Arora and Jackson told the Post in statements that they were sorry for laughing at the student, a Washington, D.C.-area singer and songwriter.
“I was mistaken and my laughter was inappropriate,” said Lundquist-Arora.
Jackson said he was “sorry to the singer and his family for my response.”