Tempers ran hot as parents and concerned citizens lashed out at Loudoun County Public Schools’ (LCPS) superintendent and board members over reports of a sexual assault on a 15-year-old girl in a bathroom at Stone Bridge High School. The alleged assailant was a “gender fluid” boy wearing a skirt.
Parents were also angry about what they called a “coverup” by the LCPS board and superintendent. Dozens of parents used the opportunity to give outraged, one minute speeches at the October 12 board meeting– all the time allowed for individual public statements.
One parent, Erin Dunbar, gave a 60-second summary of the sequence of events, “On May 28, a male student at Stonebridge allegedly entered the girls bathroom and raped a female student. One month later, with the board meeting where policy 8040 was voted on, Beth and Scott and Brenda all assured us that students are safe and there had been no incidents of concern.”
Dunbar is referring to LCPS Policy 8040, which required staff and students to use pronouns and names chosen by gender-confused students. It also gave them access to the facilities that correspond “to their consistently asserted gender identity.”
She also lists Board Member Beth Barts, Superintendent Scott Ziegler, and Board Chair Brenda Sheridan, who discussed at the June meeting whether assaults ever happen at LCPS schools. Ziegler stated, “To my knowledge we don’t have any records of assaults occurring in our restrooms,” and, “The predator transgender student or person simply does not exist.”
Dunbar continued, “At this meeting, the father of the rape victim was here to speak about the trauma his daughter suffered, but he never got the chance because Brenda conveniently ended public comment.” The father, Scott Smith, was elbowed in the nose and then dragged from the room after the board declared that parents who gathered at the meeting were an “unlawful assembly.”
“The boy in question was transferred to Broad Run [another LCPS high school], where last week he took advantage of his continued access to classmates and assaulted another student,” Dunbar said, referencing a Sheriff’s Office statement about the second assault.
“This board bans parents from the admin building for not wearing a mask, but a student accused of raping a classmate was allowed to continue attending our children’s schools. I have contacted Sheriff Chapman and asked for an investigation into the inexcusable handling of this situation, and I’m calling for the resignation of the Superintendent, along with any board member who is found to have knowledge of what happened,” she said.
“Any of you who covered up the sexual assault of a child should be charged as an accessory after the fact for knowingly putting other students in danger, Dunbar concluded, “You are a direct threat to the safety of our children at LCPS.”
While talk of the two sexual assaults dominated the evening, parents listed other issues in the district, such as:
- Students fighting and bullying others.
- School board members, teachers and other parents creating a private group with a “hit list” of conservative parents to attack.
- The transgender policy that allows students to use opposite sex bathrooms and requires students and staff to affirm a student’s chosen “gender identity.”
- Students vaping in a classroom.
- The district buying and assigning offensive books with pornographic and violent sexual behavior.
Several mentioned the recent memorandum from U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland directing the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to address threats against school administrators, teachers, staff and board members. The parents said they were being labeled “domestic terrorists” for simply speaking out against school board policies.
One mom said, “My road to being labeled a ‘domestic terrorist’ started by asking for schools to open for the mental health of our children,” adding, “We opposed 8040 not because we are transphobic but because we are worried about our children. We were worried about both the boys and the girls being exposed to other sexes in their bathrooms and in their locker room. We were concerned about the safety of our children.”
One father said, “Virginia state code requires that a report be made to the superintendent when any assault happens – so it’s likely Dr. Ziegler knew about it.”
The Daily Wire, which originally broke the story of the assaults, affirmed this, explaining, “However, state law actually requires statistics on assaults and other incidents in schools to be reported to the public, in the form of annually updated statistics available on a public database called Safe Schools Information Resource (SSIR) administered by the Virginia Department of Education. LCPS reported to the state that Stone Bridge had zero sexual assaults for the 2020-2021 school year, which includes May 28, 2021.”
Records uncovered by The Wire show that LCPS “did not record multiple known incidents of alleged sexual assault in schools dating back several years.”
While most gender-confused individuals don’t use access to opposite sex facilities to assault people, policies that allow this access create opportunities for perpetrators to do so. And despite Ziegler’s statement, there are a number of cases where gender-confused men, claiming to be women, have exposed themselves to women, attacked women or children, or committed acts of voyeurism in women’s changing rooms, showers, locker rooms and restrooms.
One mom, with teens at the school where the second attack took place, pointedly asked the board, “What are you doing to protect my daughters and every LCPS student from being sexually assaulted at school? You allowed a student who’s currently charged with sexually assaulting a girl to be quietly transferred to another school – the same high school my twin daughters attend. … Why did you put my daughters and every 14 to 18-year-old girl at Broad Run at risk of being sexually assaulted?
The Superintendent and school board members sat through more than an hour of comments, their faces covered by masks and gave no response to parents. LCPS released a statement about the incidents, saying the district was “prohibited from disciplining any student without following Title IX grievance process” and that “school board members are typically not given details about disciplinary matters.”
They also took a swipe at Smith, saying, “We are unable to locate any records that indicate that Scott Smith had registered in advance to speak at the June 22, 2021 board meeting.”
The statement did not mention the two students or offer sympathy or support to them or their families.
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