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Tags: virginia | sexual assault | schools

Email Shows Loudoun County Schools Chief Knew About Sexual Assault

Email Shows Loudoun County Schools Chief Knew About Sexual Assault
Protesters and activists hold signs as they stand outside a Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) board meeting in Ashburn, Virginia, on October 12, 2021. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 22 October 2021 05:55 PM

A newly released email shows Scott Ziegler, the superintendent for Loudoun County Public Schools, knew about the sexual assault of a girl by a boy wearing a skirt in a girl’s restroom at Stone Bridge High School in Virginia last May despite saying he had ''no knowledge'' about the reported incident that has captured national headlines.

Ziegler, in an email titled ''CONFIDENTIAL School Incident'' sent to school board members on May 28, said, ''this afternoon a female student alleged that a male student sexually assaulted her in the restroom" but during a June 22 school board meeting said there had been no assaults in restrooms.

''The predator transgender student or person simply does not exist," he said in June, adding, "we don't have any record of assaults occurring in our restrooms.''

News outlet LoudonNow obtained the memo through a FOIA request.

Scott Smith, the father of the girl who said she was sexually assaulted, was arrested at the meeting after he flew into a rage following Ziegler’s comments.

"I had to raise so much chaos at the school to draw enough attention to get police to come to help my daughter because I wasn't getting the help I needed from the SRO [school resource officer] or the principal,'' Smith told Newsmax last week.

Ziegler last week apologized, saying that LCPS failed to provide a safe environment. He also said he misinterpreted a question from board member Beth Barts when he said there had been no assaults.

"First, let me say to the families and students involved — my heart aches for you and I am sorry that we failed to provide the safe, welcoming, and affirming environment that we aspire to provide," he said.

''I regret that my comments were misleading and I apologize for the distress that error caused families. I should have asked board member Barts clarifying questions to get to the root of her question, rather than assuming what she meant. I will do better in the future,'' he added.

LCPS in a statement said board members ''are regularly informed about major incidents that happen in our schools.'' 

"In this case, the superintendent sent an email message to the board on Friday, May 28, 2021. A copy of that email message is attached. In the message, board members were informed in a general fashion that an alleged incident took place and that the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office was conducting an investigation of the incident.

"As LCPS has stated, the School Board was not provided specific details or the names of those involved, and were advised by Dr. Ziegler that they would not receive updates regarding this matter, as it was being investigated by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office. The School Board had not been provided any specific information regarding this matter from LCPS staff prior to the June 22, 2021 meeting or at any point thereafter until the recent news reports were published."

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A newly released email shows Scott Ziegler, the superintendent for Loudoun County Public Schools, knew about the sexual assault of a girl by a boy wearing a skirt in a girl's restroom at Stone Bridge High School in Virginia last May despite saying he had ''no knowledge''...
virginia, sexual assault, schools
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2021-55-22
Friday, 22 October 2021 05:55 PM
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