Parents demand resignations of Loudoun County school board and superintendent, accusing them of lying to cover up sexual assault cases

Parents of Loudoun County Public Schools children are demanding that the school board and superintendent resign after being accused of lying to cover up sexual assaults happening in the district’s schools.

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

Parents of Loudoun County Public Schools children are demanding that the school board and superintendent resign after being accused of lying to cover up sexual assaults happening in the district's schools.

School board members and superintendent Scott Ziegler were bombarded with demands that they resign during Tuesday evening's meeting.

One Loudoun father demanded that they resign, revealing evidence of other cover ups of sexual assault within the school district.

"There's word now of yet another high school predator that's been transferred from Dominion to Woodgrove after he attacked the teacher," he said, noting that he has daughters at Woodgrove.

"There's also word of a Freedom High School teacher who has been transferred to Belmont Ridge three weeks ago after sexual impropriety with a student," he said. "It has been learned five years ago, there was yet another sexual assault on a freshman girl Tuscarora High School with someone this board covered up."

"Scott, Why are you so close to the Commonwealth attorney?" He questioned. "It seems like our kids are being used as pawns in some social reform game."

"Scott, why did you have a private non foible meeting with the Commonwealth attorney on October 15, at that fundraiser that you and I both attended, we witnessed it," he said. "Resign tonight, all of you, and end the mockery you've all brought in this great county."

Another woman, who said that she is the parent of a LCPS student and a LCPS employee, slammed the letter from the National School Board Association that deemed parents speaking out at school board meetings as "domestic terrorists."

"I am an LCPS employee and the mother of an LCPS student, and I am not a domestic terrorist," she said.

"I am also here to speak for many other employees and parents who are afraid to speak out," she continued. "We have seen the deceitful and intimidating tactics used by this board and our own Justice Department to stifle our First Amendment rights, and punish anyone who dares to speak up."

"This culture war isn't phony and our outrage isn't fake," she said. "I have personally witnessed students of all ages falling hopelessly behind because the priority of this board is equity studies, focus groups, and mandates instead of academic excellence and safe schools."

"I am requesting the resignation of anyone on this board who voted for policy 8040, and Dr. Ziegler you need to be fired," she concluded.

The parents' outrage surfaced after an email was uncovered last week that revealed Zeigler did in fact know about the May 28 sexual assault at Stone Bridge High School, despite his comments a month later stating he had no knowledge.

"The purpose of this email is to provide you with information regarding an indecent that occurred at Stone Bridge HS," The May 28 email to school board members states, according to the Daily Mail. "This afternoon a female student alleged that a male student sexually assaulted her in the restroom."

At a June 22 school board meeting, Zeigler stated that to his knowledge, "we don't have any record of assaults occurring in our restrooms."

The email also noted that the female victim's father, Scott Smith, had shown up to the school that day, "and caused a disruption by using threatening and profane language."

Smith was later dragged out of the same June 22 school board meeting by police.

That school board meeting was fielding questions in regards to policy 8040, which states that the school district "shall allow gender-expansive or transgender students to use their chosen name and gender pronouns that reflect their consistently asserted gender identity without any substantiating evidence, regardless of the name and gender recorded in the student's permanent educational record."

The policy also allows students "to use the facility that corresponds to their consistently asserted gender identity," which the Smith family has blamed for their daughter's assault.

"A girl was sexually assaulted in May and you all knew about it. The predator was put back in schools to sexually assault another girl. You all should be fired," Patti Hidalgo Menders said.

"Did any of you even respond to this email on May 28 from Dr Ziegler? Was that email alarming to anyone?" said parent Erin Smith. "You just had hundreds of Loudoun County students walk out in protest because they feel unsafe in schools."

Students at schools around the Loudoun County school district walked out on Tuesday in support of the victims, and to demand safer schools.

Ziegler addressed the discrepancies in his statements on October 15, stating that he "wrongly interpreted" a question "about discipline incidents in bathroom" during the June meeting because he was focused on controversies and backlash surrounding policy 8040.

"I regret that my comments were misleading and I apologize for the distress they caused families," he said.

"To the families and students involved, my heart aches for you. I am sorry that we failed to provide the safe, welcoming and affirming environment that we aspire to provide," he added.


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