The entire Loudoun County school board was informed of an alleged sexual assault in a high school bathroom the day it occurred, according to new reporting from local news outlet WTOP.
WTOP obtained an email written by Scott Ziegler, superintendent of the Virginia school district, at 4:09 pm on May 28 that said:
Good Afternoon, Board Members, The purpose of this email is to provide you with information regarding an incident that occurred at Stone Bridge HS. This afternoon a female student alleged that a male student sexually assaulted her in the restroom. The LCSO [Sheriff’s Office] is investigating the matter. Secondary to the assault investigation, the female student’s parent responded to the school and caused a disruption by using threatening and profane language that was overheard by staff and students. Additional law enforcement units responded to the school to assist with the parent. The school’s counseling team is providing services for students who witnessed the parent’s behavior. The alleged victim is being tended to by LCSO.
Three weeks later at a June 22 board meeting focused on a transgender policy that affects bathrooms, school board member Beth Barts asked if there were sexual assaults in the bathrooms regularly, and Ziegler responded that he didn’t have record of any occurring.
Barts noted that Ziegler’s comment failed to reflect a 2018 locker room assault, which she pointed out involved all male players, thus highlighting that assaults can occur whether or not transgender students are present.
After The Daily Wire reported this month that the suspect had been transferred to another school where he allegedly sexually assaulted another girl in a classroom, Ziegler apologized for what he acknowledged was a “misleading” remark, claiming he thought the question was whether there had been any bathroom assaults involving transgender students. That apology only raised more questions, since the May assailant was allegedly wearing a skirt, and since Barts’ follow-up question had made clear in the moment that the question was not limited to transgender incidents.
Board members, including Barts and Vice Chair Atoosa Reaser, put out statements following The Daily Wire’s October 11 story that said that “members of the Loudoun County School Board were not aware of the specific details of the incident until earlier this week.” But the email shows that they seemingly would have had reason to know that Ziegler’s assertion of no record of sexual assaults in bathrooms was false.
Board members did not jump in to correct the misstatement during the June 22 meeting. Scott Smith, the father of the victim of the alleged rape, was in the crowd, and he became angry and was arrested for disorderly conduct.
Barts has since resigned from the board.
The email also appears to confirm that outside law enforcement was called on the father for causing a scene, while it was not immediately called by the School Resource Officer for the alleged rape. Smith has told The Daily Wire that the reason he made a scene is that he was shocked to find no team of police officers or medics responding to the incident when he arrived.
Neither the 2018 nor May 28 incident was reported to the state as part of required statistics, which Ziegler called an “error” he blamed in part on his “predecessor.” Ziegler had held the role of interim superintendent for nearly six months at the time of the May incident, and was permanent superintendent by the time the annual statistics were due.
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