In reaction to a report from a grand jury on how the school district in Loudoun County handled two s*xual assaults perpetrated by the same kid, the superintendent of the school district, Scott Ziegler, was terminated by the school board on Tuesday night.
The Northern Virginia school system came to the attention of the nation one year ago after a father accused it, during a meeting of the school board, of covering up his daughter’s s*xual assault, which occurred in the girls’ restroom and involved a biological boy wearing a skirt who raped her. The incident occurred. Afterward, the suspect moved to a different school within the district, where he is said to have assaulted another girl. He is now facing charges in both of these incidents.
The father claimed that the school administration attempted to cover up an assault that had been committed against his daughter to push the district’s transgender policy, which had been the target of protests from parents at LCPS school board meetings.
According to the grand jury report that was made public on Monday, the school district was more concerned with protecting its interests than the welfare of its pupils, and the study also stated that the education system “failed at every step.”
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According to the report, LCPS demonstrated a “stunning lack of openness, transparency, and accountability, both to the public and to the special grand jury,” regarding its response to the s*xual assaults. The report also condemned Ziegler for denying at a school board meeting in June 2021 that he had any knowledge of the first assault, which had taken place in May of that same year. The first assault had taken place in May of that year. October of 2021 was the month that saw the occurrence of the second invasion.
Ziegler had stated during the board meeting that “the predator transgender student or an individual simply does not exist,” and that “we don’t have any record of assaults occurring in our restrooms,” to the best of his knowledge. However, the superintendent informed members of the school board about an assault that had been reported in an email that was dated May 28, the same day that the initial incident occurred.
According to the report from the grand jury, the district did not “step in and influence” the sequence of events that led up to the second assault at multiple moments when they had the opportunity to do so. The report also stated that the grand jury did not find evidence of a “coordinated cover-up” between school administrators and the school board; however, it did state that the second assault “may have and should have been prevented.”
According to the report, the incident that occurred on October 6 was ultimately caused by “a remarkable lack of curiosity and adherence to operating in silos by LCPS administrators.” The report also stated that LCPS “bears the brunt of the blame” for the incident.
According to emails that were included in the study, senior district officials held a secret meeting to address the first assault, and they related it to Policy 8040, which permits kids to use bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their gender identity.
Following the conclusion of its findings, the grand jury presented LCPS with eight suggestions to implement going forward to improve school safety, transparency, and communication. The inquiry has been wrapped up, but no charges have been brought forward at this time.
During their inquiry, the grand jury considered over one hundred pieces of evidence and heard testimony from over forty witnesses. According to the findings of the investigation, the LCPS school board engaged in efforts to “thwart, denigrate, and push back” against the inquiry.
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