Ian Prior, executive director of the activist group Fight for Schools, held a press conference Thursday afternoon enumerating several demands of the school division in response to what he characterized as a negligent response from school administrators to a pair of sexual assaults.
The event, held outside the Loudoun County Public Schools Administration Building, comes in the wake of a report in the media detailing a pair of assaults at two Loudoun high schools involving the same suspect — one of which occurred at the end of May, and was not made public until this week.
While neither LCPS nor the sheriff’s office would confirm that the suspect in these cases is the same person, Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney Buta Biberaj (D) confirmed to the Times-Mirror via text message on Wednesday evening that the two cases involve the same suspect.
In his remarks, Prior called for the resignations of LCPS superintendent Scott Ziegler as well as any member of the Loudoun School Board who had general knowledge of the May 28 incident but nonetheless continued to support the then-proposed Policy 8040, which among other stipulations, allows transgender students to use the bathroom corresponding to their expressed gender identity.
He also called upon the board members who had not supported Policy 8040 prior to the conclusion of the May 28 investigation to hire an independent law firm to investigate the school division’s handling of the incidents and issue a public report, as well as urging U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to direct pertinent federal prosecutors to open a Title IX investigation into LCPS.
Prior said that Ziegler’s “failure to keep an alleged assailant out of school” merited “immediate termination,” and that any board members who continued to support Policy 8040 “before the criminal conviction for the criminal case had concluded, and a conviction potentially could be made public pursuant to applicable law, should resign.”
As initially reported by The Daily Wire, the May 28 incident involved a male suspect who allegedly sexually assaulted a female student at Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn.
The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Wednesday that the student suspect was 14 years old at the time of the alleged assault, and confirmed that after a two-month investigation, he was arrested on July 8 on two counts of forcible sodomy.
Many Loudoun residents have been in an uproar after the May 28 incident came to light, days after another sexual assault that was reported on Oct. 6 at Broad Run High School, which is also in Ashburn.
The sheriff’s office reported the following day that a 15-year-old suspect was immediately arrested after the incident, and was being held at the Loudoun County Juvenile Detention Center on charges of sexual battery and abduction of another student.
The 15-year-old suspect, who was not identified because he is a juvenile, allegedly forced a female victim into an empty classroom at the school, where he held her against her will and inappropriately touched her on Oct. 6, the sheriff's office said.
The victim immediately notified a school resource officer, and as of Oct. 7 the suspect is being detained at the Loudoun County Juvenile Detention Center, according to the sheriff's office.
“All of you need to step down immediately,” Anne Miller, a resident of the Blue Ridge District, said to Ziegler and board members at the Tuesday’s public meeting, one day after the May 28 incident was made public.
The Times-Mirror reached out to LCPS for a response to Prior’s requests Thursday evening, but did not immediately receive a comment.