School Board Meeting – Oct. 12, 2021

Loudoun residents line up to speak during the public comment portion of the school board meeting Tuesday.

Loudoun County Public Schools on Wednesday issued a statement responding to reports of an alleged sexual assault at Ashburn’s Stone Bridge High School on May 28, which had not previously been made public.

The revelation comes less than a week after a 15-year-old male student at Broad Run High School — also in Ashburn — was charged with sexual battery and abduction of another student, according to an LCSO incident report.

The May 28 incident was first reported by The Daily Wire.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the LCSO would not confirm if the suspects in the two cases are the same person.

“LCPS takes student privacy seriously and cannot reveal details concerning the actions of any specific student,” school officials said in the statement. The statement says principals are legally required to report to law enforcement any act that may constitute a felony offense — including sexual assault — under Virginia Code § 22.1-279.3:1. School officials said they followed the reporting law.

“Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office was contacted within minutes of receiving the initial report on May 28,” LCPS officials wrote, referring to the alleged incident at Stone Bridge. “Once a matter has been reported to law enforcement, LCPS does not begin its investigation until law enforcement advises LCPS that it has completed the criminal investigation.”

The statement said law enforcement officials requested LCPS not interview students until after their investigation was concluded, and that the school district cooperated with and continues to cooperate with law enforcement.

A LCSO spokesperson confirmed to the Times-Mirror Tuesday evening that a sexual assault had been reported on May 28 at Stone Bridge High School and that the investigation lasted two months.

During Tuesday night’s school board meeting, numerous Loudoun residents called for the resignation of LCPS superintendent Scott Ziegler and board members whom they said failed to protect students.

“All of you need to step down immediately,” Blue Ridge District resident Anne Miller said, addressing Ziegler and members of the school board. “You recklessly endangered the children of this county ... Remove the superintendent immediately, and then resign for your negligence and duplicity.”

LCPS officials, in an effort to maintain the student suspect’s due process in the alleged May 28 sexual assault, said school board members were not made aware of the incident until it was reported in the media earlier this week.

In response to an inquiry by the Times-Mirror asking why the Oct. 6 incident was publicly reported while the May 28 incident — which the sheriff’s office on Wednesday said consisted of two counts of forcible sodomy — was not, a sheriff’s office spokesperson wrote in an email that the two cases were fundamentally different.

“The May 28, 2021 case involved a different set of circumstances and a thorough 2-month-long investigation was conducted to determine the facts of the case prior to arrest,” the spokesperson wrote. “This case is still pending court proceedings.”

The spokesperson added that “Juvenile reports are excluded from disclosure pursuant to Virginia Code §16.1-301 and Criminal history information is exempt under Virginia Code §19.2-389.”

Several members of the Loudoun County School Board took to social media to issue similar statements shortly before LCPS published its announcement.

Blue Ridge District representative Ian Serotkin wrote in a post published on his Facebook page that “Schools are prohibited from disciplining a student without following the Title IX grievance process, which includes investigating formal complaints of sexual harassment.”

Serotkin added in his statement that LCPS does implement interim measures to protect the safety of students involved in a reported incident, as well as to deter retaliation and preserve the integrity of an ensuing investigation.

“LCPS has complied and continues to comply with its obligations under Title IX,” he said, mirroring the statement later published by LCPS.

(5) comments

Representing the Mambo

Shifty Sheriff Mike Chapman put out a CYA press release with the following "facts" as to why he did not notify the public about a sexual assault/rape at a school for so long:

1) It was a complicated investigation

2) Suspect and victim knew each other

3) It could have identified a victim

Yet later, when the same suspect attacked another student, a press release was done immediately. in that situation, Sheriff Chapman cited:

1) The case was not complicated

2) The arrest was immediate

3) It was unlikely to identify the victim

This is nonsense. If the first incident (forced rape) was investigated the way it should have been, i.e., SANE exam, Special Victim Unit assigned immediately, victim interview done, suspect identified, etc. an arrest would/should have been made quickly. Lab results would follow later. It's standard procedure. Nothing too complicated about that. "The victim and suspect knew each other"...so what? Plenty of criminals know their victims. Family Court is full of them. Possibly identify the victim in a sexual assault? If that was the logic behind the first incident, why would it be different in the second sexual assault?

This is classic Sheriff Chapman- hoping to dupe the public once again with his obfuscation.

Representing the Mambo

Remember when Darwin Torres raped and killed the 16 year old Muslim girl in Sterling a couple of years back? Approximately 10 days before that murder, Torres' wife went to the hospital with injuries from an assault. During an interview with hospital staff, the wife stated that she was beaten and raped by her husband. She also mentioned his gang affiliation. Child Protective Services (CPS) responded and took a report. A copy was issued to the Sheriff's Office. It fell through the cracks and it was not assigned a case number and investigated. When Torres was arrested for the rape and murder of that teenager, CPS reached out to the Sheriff's Office to give them a heads up that he was on their radar earlier. Sheriff Chapman's reaction? He called a meeting with his staff and strategized as to how to keep this from the public. When it did get leaked, he reconvened a staff meeting and berated them for having a "rat" in the house. He then had a "loyalty pledge" issued to all deputies reminding them that they could be polygraphed at any time for suspected leaks of information and required them to sign a pledge of loyalty. I'm not making this up.

J Smith

Some questions that need answers:

1) Who first informed the Sheriff’s office that a girl at Stone Bridge had been sexually assaulted by another boy at the school? An assault committed by a boy who identified as trans and liked to wear skirts to gain access to girl’s bathrooms.

Was it the girl’s father when sheriffs arrived after being contacted by Stone Bridge about an irate father who came to the school to find out what happened to his daughter while she was at school?

Was it the doctors at the hospital after they administered a rape kit on the girl?

Stone Bridge said they contacted the Sheriff’s office the same day. When, in the series of events, though did Stone Bridge tell the sheriffs that a girl at their school was “sexually assaulted?”

I ask because if Stone Bridge did not call the sheriff’s office immediately and inform them of the details then it looks like the start of a cover-up.

2) What precautions did Stone Bridge take in the days following the assault to ensure that no further sexual assaults would occur in their girl’s bathrooms?

3) Did Stone Bridge inform the parents of their students that the sheriffs are investigating a sexual assault on campus and provide the parents enough details to be able to make informed decisions about their daughter’s safety?

4) When was Superintendent Ziegler and the School Board first notified that a sexual assault was perpetrated at Stone Bridge on May 28 by a boy who identified as trans and was entering girl’s bathrooms?

5) Did Mr. Ziegler know about the sexual assault prior to the June 22nd school board meeting to discuss approval of trans policies regarding access to bathrooms? The same board meeting where he said, “To my knowledge, we don’t have any record of assaults occurring in our restrooms…the predator transgender student or person simply does not exist.”

If Mr. Ziegler wasn’t immediately informed about the details of a sexual assault that occurred in the school system he is responsible to supervise, then that is a gross failure of leadership on his part and grounds for immediate termination.

If Mr. Ziegler knew about the sexual assault prior to the June 22nd school board meeting, then he made a publicly false statement regarding the safety of Loudoun County students and should be fired immediately for trying to cover-up an egregious criminal offense.

If the School Board knew about the sexual assault prior to June 22nd and did not call out Mr. Ziegler for a false statement, then they are complicit in the cover-up and should resign immediately.

6) When was the boy charged with sexual assault by the Sheriff’s office and when did Mr. Ziegler, the School Board, Stone Bridge, and Broad Run know about the charge?

7) What action did Mr. Ziegler and the School Board take against the perpetrator once he had been charged by the sheriff’s office? Was he suspended?

8) The Sheriff’s office said it took two months to investigate the case? Why did it take so long? This case does not seem to be that complicated.

9) Did Mr. Ziegler and the School Board inform the Broad Run principal of the reasons why a Stone Bridge student was being transferred to Broad Run so that appropriate precautions could be taken to protect Broad Run girls?

10) What precautions did the Mr. Ziegler, the School Board, and the Broad Run principal take to protect the girls of Broad Run from a second attack by the perpetrator of the sexual assault at Stone Bridge?

Whatever precautions they took, it wasn’t enough to protect a girl from the same predator.

11) Were the parents of Broad Run informed that a student who had been charged with sexual assault would be attending their school so that they could make appropriate decisions regarding their daughter’s safety?

The father of the girl assaulted at Stone Bridge was labeled a “domestic terrorist” because he came to the June 22nd school board meeting to tell his daughter’s story.

Mr. Ziegler and our School Board have repeatedly ignored our concerns and vilified anyone who challenges their view.

Now the Justice Department has, no kidding, instructed the FBI to investigate and prosecute parents who it deems to be “threatening” towards school staff. I guess being outspoken in support of your son or daughter is now a terrorist event.

Loudoun County schools used to be the envy of the nation. Very quickly under the current leadership, our schools first became the laughingstock of the nation. Now, people around the country simply feel sorry for us.

My heart goes out to the parents of the daughters that were assaulted and the girls themselves. I hope the families have good lawyers. They deserve to be very well compensated for the massive failures of Mr. Ziegler, our School Board, and likely the principals of Stone Bridge and Broad Run.

We need to elect much better leaders. We need to hold our leaders accountable. We place them in a position of great trust. When they violate that trust, when they fail, they need to be fired, not re-hired. They work for us.

cjh1

So where is the superintendent on this? Does he get a pass on answering questions? Probably because he covered up the assault to make sure the 8040 policy vote went his way. He should be fired immediately. He is a terrible superintendant

jke

Ziegler lied again just like when he was talking about CRT, see a pattern. Sens my address to Merrick Garland and tell him to stick his domestic terrorist label I am a deplorable domestic terrorist, ddt for short!

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