Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) in Virginia is once again in the hot seat after a bombshell report revealed some rather scandalous details of its inner workings. This development comes after a special grand jury convened to evaluate the activities undertaken by officials working in the district, which has been the subject of criticism over the past two years amid the national debate over problematic materials being presented to young children in K-12 classrooms.
Grand Jury Excoriates Loudoun County School District
The grand jury’s findings suggest that members of LCPS’ leadership “were looking out for their own interests instead of the best interests of LCPS,” which “invariably led to a stunning lack of openness, transparency, and accountability both to the public and the special grand jury.”
It was revealed that “there were several decision points for senior LCPS administrators, up to and including the superintendent to be transparent and step in and alter the sequence of events leading up to the October 6, 2021 BRHS sexual assault,” but these individuals “failed at every juncture.”
The document detailed how teachers brought to the administration’s attention that a male student was behaving in a sexually inappropriate manner with female students. One of the educators said in an email that she “wouldn’t want to be held accountable if someone should get hurt” due to the “reckless behavior” of the student.
Only two weeks after the email was sent, it was revealed that the student allegedly sexually assaulted a female in the girls’ restroom at school. About a week later, the same student is believed to have abused another girl on campus. The report noted: “At 12:00pm the two students met in the handicap stall of a female bathroom in SBHS. The male student became ‘handsy’ and then more aggressive, which caused bruising on her chest.”
A special education teaching assistant stated that she saw two pairs of feet under the stall, “but she did nothing about it” even though “this was not an uncommon occurrence” because sometimes this happened when a female is going through her menstrual cycle or if “somebody had a boyfriend they had a fight with.”
The documents included emails between members of the administration and even text message exchanges between the suspect and one of his alleged victims. In one instance, they use Discord to set up a meeting in “the bathrooms by the Tech Ed classroom.”
In another conversation on Discord, the alleged assailant asked the female “who here would you let f— you until your mind breaks” and expressed inappropriate desires for other students. In another exchange, he asked the girl to “call a pass mid-class and I will f— you.”
The grand jury also noted that the statement LCPS released to the public was deceptive in nature as it detailed only a confrontation between the father of one of the victims and members of the school staff. “This statement, drafted by the public information officer and edited and approved by the superintendent … deliberately makes no mention of the sexual assault that took place just hours earlier. Nor does it mention the fact that the assailant had gone missing in SBHS for hours after he committed the sexual assault jeopardizing the safety of all students.”
The report calls into question LCPS’ claim that it refrained from telling the public the full story out of concerns for “privacy,” noting that “for a school system that repeatedly trumpets the importance of student safety, LCPS dropped the ball in this instance in alerting the community about this incident.
“There was certainly a way to inform the community about the allegations of sexual assault without sharing information about any of the students, or jeopardizing an ongoing investigation, but LCPS chose not to do so,” the grand jury noted, also pointing out that the administration should have “sent an email about the incident involving students.”
The rest of the of report suggests that the administration lied to cover up its mishandling of the situation. Not long after the document was released, outrage ensued. Critics of the district were vindicated in their anger at the conduct of its leadership despite attempts on the part of establishment media to downplay the matter.
Ian Prior, a senior adviser at America First Legal, told Liberty Nation:
“This report should shock the conscience of everyone that reads it. Superintendent Scott Ziegler and other staff at Loudoun County Public Schools acted with reckless indifference to the safety of children, which directly led to two sexual assaults. Moreover, as we have repeatedly pointed out, LCPS failed in its obligations under Title IX, the superintendent lied to the public, and the school board showed itself to be nothing more than an incompetent tool of the administration.”
Prior argued that the school board should “terminate Superintendent Scott Ziegler immediately, as well as any other members of the staff whose reckless indifference was highlighted in this report.” He warned that “if the board fails to do so, we reiterate our call for the Virginia Board of Education to remove him pursuant to its statutory authority.”
“This report confirms what we have been telling the world for the last two years. We applaud the special grand jury for its work and dedication and are hopeful that its continued work will result in wrongdoers being held accountable,” Prior added.
Erika Sanzi, director of outreach for parental rights advocacy group Parents Defending Education, told Liberty Nation, “Loudoun County officials violated the oath of a public servant and instead decided to take a deliberate path of concealment and even lying. The grand jury called it ‘intentional institutional amnesia.’ Is it any wonder that the trust of parents has eroded?”
This is only the first installment of the grand jury’s findings on the conduct of LCPS’ administration.
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