Parents demand resignations of VA school board members over rape cover-up scandal

by mcardinal

Chris Lange, FISM News



Parents angered over a Virginia school board’s cover-up of a sexual assault on a female student demanded the resignation of its members during a contentious Tuesday meeting of the Loudoun County School Board in Ashburn.  

A Virginia court ruled Monday that enough evidence exists to show that a male student “engaged in nonconsensual sex” with a female classmate when he forcibly sodomized her in a school bathroom at Stone Bridge High School. The boy, who “identifies” as “gender fluid,” had access to the girls’ restroom in accordance with the school’s transgender bathroom policy. He was wearing a skirt at the time of the alleged assault. 

A recently-surfaced email from Loudoun County School Superintendent Scott Ziegler shows that he alerted the board to the assault in May, a full month prior to publicly denying that the assault took place. It was later discovered that the male student was quietly transferred to another school following the allegation, where he is reported to have committed a second sexual assault on another female student.

Carrie Michon, whose grandchildren attend public school in Loudoun County, made direct reference to the school’s transgender policy in her call for board members to resign. “You have buried a sexual assault to protect your precious 8040 policy,” she said. “Every last one of you, resign.” 

Patti Hidalgo Menders, president of Loudoun Conservatives Care, confronted board members about placing “woke” school policies over the safety of students.:

You are so concerned with pushing race and gender that you sacrificed our children. 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.

Ziegler acknowledged on Oct. 15 that current policies are inadequate in terms of addressing sexual assault cases following the incidents. “I want to acknowledge that our processes and procedures were not adequate to respond to these recent events,” he said. “It has become clear that our administrative procedures have not kept pace with the growth we have seen in our county.”

The school board meeting was preceded by a staged student walkout earlier in the day during which dozens of Loudoun County high schoolers convened outside of their classrooms in a show of solidarity with the alleged victims. One video of the walkout showed students shouting, “Loudon County protects rapists.”

Following Monday’s ruling, the law firm representing the first victim’s family, including parents Jessica and Scott Smith, released a statement which reads, in part: “We are relieved that justice was served today for the Smiths’ daughter. This horrible incident has deeply affected the Smith family, and they are grateful for today’s outcome.” A second rape charge against the boy is still pending. 

The Smith family is also pursuing a civil suit against Loudoun County public schools and announced plans Monday to demand a retraction from the National School Boards Association who used a video of Scott Smith’s arrest following a June 22 school board meeting to justify their request that the FBI monitor parents’ activities at school board meetings whose protests, they argued, should be classified as acts of domestic terrorism and “hate crimes.”

As previously reported by FISM News, the NSBA has since issued an apology for the letter. 

During the June meeting, Smith became outraged when Ziegler publicly denied having any record of the alleged assault and began shouting at him. When Smith refused to stop, he was forcibly removed from the meeting by local law enforcement and placed under arrest for disorderly conduct. It was only after Ziegler’s May email surfaced that some members of the media reached out to Smith for his side of the story.  

Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin, who has made parents’ rights a key component of his platform, also called on school board members to resign, telling Fox News that Ziegler’s email “simply confirms what we know, which is we had administrators at a school board who have been covering this up. I mean, they tried to hide it from parents, they’ve hidden it from the public, and they actually endangered students by moving this young man – who in fact was being prosecuted for a sexual assault in another school – and enabled it to happen again.”

Parents’ rights have become a focus of a tight race between Youngkin and his Democratic opponent, Terry McAuliffe, who drew intense criticism for comments he made during a Sept. debate, including “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach,” and “I’m not going to let parents come into schools and actually take books out and make their own decision.” The election will take place Nov. 7.