On Thursday, it was revealed that Loudoun County Public Schools did not adhere to a state law that requires reporting all school safety incidents to the public, failing to record numerous cases of alleged sexual assault that have happened this year and in years past.
According to The Daily Wire, state law requires statistics on assaults and other school incidents to be reported in a public database called Safe Schools Information Resource (SSIR), which the Virginia Department of Education administers.
Virginia law states that "The division superintendent shall annually report all such incidents to the Department of Education to record the frequency of such incidents on forms that shall be provided by the Department and shall make such information available to the public."
"LCPS reported to the state that Stone Bridge had zero sexual assaults for the 2020-2021 school year, which includes May 28, 2021," wrote The Daily Wire.
On May 28, a ninth-grade female student was reportedly assaulted by a boy wearing a skirt in a bathroom. A 15-year-old boy was charged with two counts of forcible sodomy, one count of anal sodomy, and one count of forcible fellatio in connection to the assault.
In October of 2018, three football players at Tuscorara High School were arrested and charged with sexual assault in connection to the assault of an underclassman football team member. One source told the Loudoun Times that "it's believed the victim was held down by teammates who inserted objects into the victim after practice on October 1." Tuscarora High School reported zero instances of sexual offenses against students that year.
When questioned by The Daily Wire regarding the reporting discrepancies with the Virginia Department of Education, DOE spokesman Charles Pyle said that "VDOE is reviewing the discipline, crime and violence data submissions of Loudoun County Public Schools and is in communication with LCPS to determine whether the division's reporting is accurate and whether the division is in compliance with state and federal law."
Pyle noted that SSIR's "mandatory reporting is not contingent on the filing of charges by law enforcement or subsequent convictions."
"While the suspect in the May 28 alleged assault was not arrested until July 8 following the conclusion of an investigation, police officers were present at the school that day, law enforcement was notified of the incident, and a police report was filed on the attack, though it is not clear who filed the report," wrote The Daily Wire.
The deadline to report such statistics to the state is July 16, well after both incidents occurred. The SSIR manual says sexual assault is "Required to be reported regardless of sanction."
Despite the police presence at the school that day, Superintendent Scott Ziegler said at a June 22 board meeting that "the predator transgender student or a person simply does not exist," and that to his knowledge, "We don't have any record of assaults occurring in our restrooms."
The law states that "A division superintendent who knowingly fails to comply or secure compliance with the reporting requirements of this subsection shall be subject to the sanctions authorized in § 22.1-65. A principal who knowingly fails to comply or secure compliance with the reporting requirements of this section shall be subject to sanctions prescribed by the local school board, which may include, but need not be limited to, demotion or dismissal."
A statement from LCPS on October 14 stated that "members of the Loudoun County School Board were not aware of the specific details of this incident until it was reported in media outlets earlier this week."
Despite this claim, a Loudoun Times article was published on August 17 regarding the court case of Scott Smith, the father of the May 28 victim, who was arrested on June 22 at a school board meeting.
"It seems unlikely that no school board members would have seen that article in their local paper – or heard about it from someone else — given that Smith's arrest was extremely high-profile, came as a direct result of his actions at a school board meeting, and was pursued zealously by an ally of progressive school board members, Commonwealth's Attorney Buta Biberaj," wrote The Daily Wire.
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