Tuscarora High School in Leesburg

Tuscarora High School in Leesburg

Update: Oct. 10, 12:32 p.m.

Loudoun County Public Schools on Wednesday released a statement on the sexual assault allegations involving members of the Tuscarora High School football team.

The allegations were first reported by the Times-Mirror Tuesday afternoon. 

School district spokesman Wayde Byard said the Tuscarora football team will play its game against Freedom High School on Friday. He said practice resumed on Tuesday after being cancelled Saturday and Monday.

Here is the school system's statement in full:

"Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) is cooperating with the Leesburg Police Department to investigate an alleged incident involving members of the Tuscarora High School football team.

LCPS became aware of the alleged incident on Friday, October 5.

To preserve the integrity of the investigation by Leesburg police – and due to federal laws protecting student privacy – LCPS is limited as to what it can share with the public.

At this point in the investigation, Leesburg police have not determined what charges, if any, will be sought regarding this incident.

The Leesburg Police Department continues to monitor this situation. The Leesburg Police Department is committed to providing more resources to Tuscarora should they be needed.

Federal law prohibits LCPS from revealing disciplinary consequences involving students. School Board policy sets discipline consequences, including expulsion, for very serious infractions.

The Leesburg Police Department contributed to the writing of this message."

Original report: Oct. 9, 4:46 p.m.

A Tuscarora High School football player was sexually assaulted in the Leesburg school's locker room following practice earlier this month, according to two sources who say they are familiar with the incident.

A Leesburg Police Department spokesman confirmed to the Times-Mirror the department is investigating an incident that occurred at the school. The LPD spokesman said officers were on the grounds Tuesday as part of the investigation, but he declined to elaborate as information gathering is ongoing.

Tuscarora's football practice has been canceled for at least the past two days, according to one of the sources. That source, who requested anonymity to speak openly about the incident, said it's believed the victim was held down by teammates who inserted objects into the victim after practice on Oct. 1.

A football coach at Woodgrove High School reportedly informed his players about a situation at Tuscarora earlier this week and warned them against "hazing," according to a Woodgrove parent.

A Loudoun County Public Schools spokesman did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Related coverage:

-"Tuscarora High School community critical of school system's response to incident involving alleged assault"

***

Victims of sexual assault can contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or the Loudoun Abused Women's Shelter at 1-703-777-6552 for support.

(58) comments

LeesburgVAResident

I have a son in a Leesburg high school. I am outraged that this can happen to a child by other children. The culture of the school that is totally focused on the sports programs puts the “sports focused” kids on a pedestal. We will have to watch that the young man that is accused does not get off the charges easily. The entire sports program for Tuscarora stands charged in the public opinion including the coaching staff, the school administration and all the players that allowed this behavior. Although the parents can not be charged, the home environment the accused comes from should also have some civil liability. I will gladly participate to support the parents of the abused child in any legal fund to prosecute the accused perpetrator to the full extent of the law. In this kind of crime, the kid’s name should be published so that we may know both him and the rotten family environment the accused was raised in.

Chris McHale

You do realize you've call him the accused several times, yet you have already prosecuted him and found him guilty. All while no charges have yet to be filed.

springerdad

I would hate for most of the people posting here to be jurors in Loudoun. Presumed innocent before guilty is still something we practice in this country.

wwwebbs

Supposedly. But when our elected officials, on national TV, hold a man guilty until he proves his innocence, what can we expect from the rest of the country???

John M

My thoughts exactly, wwwebbs.

LeesburgVAResident

I sincerely doubt that you will be very calm about this if it was your son that was raped. We must feel the outrage of a crime like this and can not have a business-as-usual attitude.

More Cowbell

In certain crimes, people are locked up before a trial because of the danger they pose. This sounds like rape, boys holding down 1 boy and inserting object.... Rape is a major felony. Now the school and police have to worry about retaliation to the boy that was held down. Public schools should be safe. Football is a team sport, unsure how the 3-4 on Tusc team can ever be trusted with harming another player.

XRay1

The offenders has yet to be punished and THS varsity football game against Freedom HS is still scheduled to be played at Freedom on Friday. LCPS you need to do the right thing for the sake of the victim!

John M

Two thoughts here: 1. People are getting way too far ahead by calling for prison, expulsions, etc. Let the investigation be completed and then deal with the results of that. If the story is true, then yes, those who participated should be at the very least, expelled from the school. 2. If it was my son who told me this had happened to him, I'd go through that school like a hurricane and nobody could stop me. I'd find the people responsible and would probably end up in prison.

RogerS

Fully agree. The students should be expelled and barred from ever attending another VA State public school.

If the punishment ended up being less than satisfactory and I was the victim's parent -- every single families home of the perpetrators would be getting a personal visit :)

stopit

#2. put that on a sign and show up at the game

WesternSky

Does Wayde Byard get paid by the word? That update was a waste of time.

How about: "Leesburg Police are investigating. We do not comment on open investigations. Have a nice day."

ashburnres

What a sad situation on so many levels. The main concern should be for the victim. The affects that this has and will continue to have on this child could last a lifetime. I'm assuming that the boys who participated in this heinous act did not think about that. However, they are responsible for their actions and should be held accountable. Nothing is ever going to fix this or make it go away for any of those involved. I'm sure word has gotten out who the victim is and who the alleged assailants are around the school and community. The victim certainly has nothing to be ashamed of, though I would assume the last thing he wants to do is return to that school. I hope the school system is giving all the support possible to this child and his family as they try to heal from this senseless act. All coaches, regardless of what sport, should make it clear to their players that kind of hazing or whatever you want to call it will not be tolerated. I don't care how great of an athlete you are, if you are involved, you are done in sports for good at the high school level and you are expelled! Then let the legal system have their turn with you. Keeping this boy and his family in my prayers.

RoundHillGuy

It very well may be true, but don't rush to Duke Lacross the situation too soon. We know from recent history how that ends up.

RogerS

Which recent history do we actually know anything about?

LoCoResident

I'm seeing a lot of people blaming everyone else *but* the people that committed the act. Stop treating this as something that it's not. Hold the criminals responsible for what *they* did. Don't blame the coaches. Don't blame the principal. Those boys *know* what *they* did, they knew what would happen, they did it anyway. It is NOT the coaches, principal's, or teachers job to teach your sons and daughters that sexual assault is not okay, that's common knowledge. These are high schoolers, not ten year olds. Even a ten year old knows not to sexually assault someone.
Hold. The. Assaulters. Responsible.

doverboy

Ms Jacobs only posted this event to the parents today, not October 1 when it happened. She is spineless.

Twolilmen

Just because the incident happened that day doesn’t mean that’s the day it was reported to the school.

stopit

Hold. the Assaulters. Responsible. put that on a sign and show up at the game

CindyLou

OMG, if this is found out to be true that students actually "inserted items" into another student, they need felony charges brought against them, go to jail, never be allowed around children or animals ever. You really can't ever fix this kind of behavior. They have severe mental issues. I hope the parents won't try to justify and deny this behavior if it is found to be true.

CNA

If you are the victim reading this I want you to know I am a Tuscarora alumni and also experienced bullying. High school sucks for some people but I promise your life will get so much better, and the fact that you told someone about the assault makes you unbelievably brave. Hang in there and I am so sorry for what your dealing with.

Buffacuse3

IF this turns out to be true and involved multiple team members, aside from any appropriate criminal prosecution, the remainder of Tuscarora's football season should be cancelled with all remaining games forfeited. Oh, and the superstar coach they lured away from another school by making him a department chair...fired. What kind of climate existed for this to happen and who is ultimately responsible for that climate--the coach.

springerdad

The current coach has been with the team. Wheelbarger served as Tuscarora's defensive coordinator during the previous four seasons. 

(Edited by staff.)

Tusky momma

Forfeiting the season hurts all the players when only 3 are involved. I get the seriousness of what happened and am heartbroken but the other boys shouldn’t have their futures altered because of the action of a few. Some of these boys are counting on football to get into college.

More Cowbell

Problem I have, is seniors/older players should be policing the team, as was done when I played. I find it hard to believe the captains weren't aware? 3 involved if found guilty, won't have to worry about college. It will be interesting to see how police and school handle because they could just give them a slap so not to ruin college chances??? It's a shame because Park View couldn't field a football team because lack of players. Briar Woods still hasn't recovered from their incident.

doverboy

Any athlete, coach, or student who was in the locker room and did not step in to stop this is as guilty as the actual attackers. Did no one hear the commotion?

LeesburgVAResident

The entire football program has to suffer the consequence of allowing this type of culture. I believe the program should be cancelled for this year and the coaching staff and school principal terminated for what happened under their watch. I would suggest that you speak with your son to understand what happens when “boys” are being boys. We have to eradicate this behavior that is now prevalent across the entire spectrum of our society. Enough is enough!

doverboy

As many as 14 stupid young men witnessed this attack, some even video taped it. No one went for help, no one stepped up to stop it. Win as a team, go down as a team

ThatEpicMania

That coach left last year for California.

Chris McHale

Buffacuse - There are kids on that team that use football for a variety of reasons, college scholarships, staying off the streets and out of trouble, a basis for remaining in HS at all, the ability to be social in a situation that they otherwise would not be able to, and I'm sure there are others reasons. These kids were not involved with the situation that is alleged. Why take that away from them simply because there may have been a few criminals. I can tell you that I never hazed or raped anyone, but without sports I would not have completed HS, or gone onto college, or gone on to law school. I agree with punishing anyone that broke the law, but I'm against punishing those that didn't.

doverboy

After a thorough investigation the school needs to fire the principal (this happened on her watch and is a reflection of the manner in which the institution is run), fire the coaching staff from any position held in Loudoun County Schools, forfeit the football season, restrict any person involved from any sports team in Loudoun County Schools, and start next year from scratch. Pamela Paul Jacobs is a disaster.

Footballmama

Dear LTM:
Very irresponsible reporting. Woodgrove should never have been included. It has nothing to to with them or any other school. At NO TIME did the Woodgrove coaches ever call this horrific situation "hazing."

springerdad

I am all for the harshest punishment possible for the kids that may have done this act but lets please wait for the police and the Administration to do their job first first before we scream out the word guilty.

The problem with our society today is we assume guilt before any facts or evidence are provided. It is a very slippery slope we are headed for unless we change how we react to these type of incidents,

LCPS student

Y'all don't understand how much school is like a prison... Only get 30 minutes to eat lunch, minimal communication with other students, you get punished for talking or giving ur opinion. Administration doesn't care about it's students as much as they want you to believe. They're more worried ab there paycheck; And the school resource officers are more worried ab the vaping problem. The vaping problem is just a replacement to cigarettes and alcohol honesly. They should be more worried ab the students health and safety.

springerdad

First of all you have NO idea what prison is like and to make that comparison is just foolish. 

(Edited by staff.)

doverboy

English wasn't your favorite class?

Locojrt

They text so much WHILE IN SCHOOL that they don't know how to spell or write. Do they still teach English!?

Tusky momma

So you read this students comment about how terrible school is for them and decided to bully him and make fun of typos? I hope you don’t have children. It took a lot for this person to write this, they don’t need to be made fun of for doing so.

loudoun2005

Sorry, but 30 minutes for lunch is the standard most places in the REAL WORLD as is minimal communication with friends while at work! Quite frankly, based on your "opinions" posted here you should be punished for talking or giving up this nonsense. Try to be a little less entitled!!! Vaping is illegal, as is cigarettes and tobacco, so I believe students health and safety are being prioritized.

Virginia SGP

Sadly, this type of hazing can be widespread. Even if students are not the victims themselves, it spreads anxiety and mistrust throughout the whole organization and team.

One hopes LCPS doesn't treat this as an isolated incident and implements a serious training program to encourage students to speak up and protect those that do. There are a lot of old (bad) habits that should be permanently ended. The military implemented extensive, recurring training after Tailhook in the early 1990's which has greatly helped.

XRay1

The kids involved should have been expelled the moment this was brought to THS administrations attention, but don't hold your breath. This school is the worst when it comes to doing what is right to protect THS students. Administration chooses to overlook multiple incidents that will cause them to actually do their jobs. I was recently informed that a parent brought a case of cyber bullying to the attention of administration. The parents were told that there was nothing that the school could do about cyber bullying. Another completely wrong and ignorant decision. What kind of message is THS sending to their students by not doing anything about this!

Chris McHale

XRay - Yeah, why wait for an investigation to establish that it actually happened. Let's just boot that kid out. Beside, if it is later established that it didn't happen what's the harm.

TPSchutte

The article is bad enough, but worse is the comments. The article says it is under investigation. Yet one person wants the Kid (how you know it is just one person is beyond me unless you are talking about the kid that was assaulted). Another wants rape, but then ask why not more details... They are reporting that a complaint was filed, the charges and file outcome will come after the investigation. I am sure not one writing a comment would want to be assumed guilty until proven innocent if someone reported them for having committed a crime. I guess what I am reading in the comments is "Do not tell us anything until the investigation is complete, charges filed, and the person(s) have their day in count. Then tell us everything. It will be news that is months old, but at least they will have all the facts, and results.

More Cowbell

Happened on Oct 1, unsure when it was reported to authorities? It is Oct 10, If true, the school can take action prior to police investigation, such as suspension to all involved. Sounds similar to what happened at Briar Woods about 5+ years ago. At a minimum, Varsity Football team should be shut down until answers, which sounds like Police know of 4-5 guys involved.

stopit

put that on a sign and come to the game to show support for victims.

Heels63

Come on.....Where there is smoke there is fire. If nothing is reported then you have people complaining that this information should have been released.

Llincoln

If the above information is true, that student/students needs to be in prison. That is rape.

angm119

This is the most disgusting thing I have ever heard and every kid that participated should not only be expelled but they should also be arrested as adults and put in jail, if this was my child I would pursue this action and the team should have to forfeit the rest of their season if my child was on this football team and did this I would let them put him in jail there is something wrong with anyone that thinks this is okay and expulsion is the only punishment what is wrong with this picture. I am devastated by this and this poor child has been scarred for life, my god Loudoun County Schools what are you allowing and what the heck is wrong with any parent that is not outraged and wants these kids removed from this school forever!

Factsareneeded

This has to be one of the worst written articles ever. This article is a game of telephone. "According to a source they were told about the incident". This is third party heresay. Publish when you actually have facts.

anon142356

I believe that kid deserves to be expelled, he was still at school today. Completely wrong and ignorant decision

angm119

The article says teammates held him down more than one none of them should ever be allowed back in the school.

Chris McHale

Expell him based on what? According to the article they are investigating. He hasn't been charged as of yet.

LoudounHome

Where is the responsibility of verifying the facts before reporting hear say from sources. A very serious allegation to publish without any facts!

Chris McHale

And BINGO was his name-o. This is exactly correct.

Footballmama

Can someone please explain why Woodgrove was even mentioned in this article?? Not okay to associate another school with this horrific situation.

WesternSky

sounds like rape to me. Why the limited charges --- and general lack of information.

LoCoResident

It's important to remember that these are most likely minors if they're not releasing names or a lot of information. It's an ethical issue in journalism if they were to release the personal information regarding people under the age of 18.

LOCO N8V

The implicated individuals should be suspended from all football activities (if not from THS all together) until the investigation is completed. It is not uncommon for Adults accused of work place sexual assault to be put on Administrative Leave during an investigation. It's not imposing guilt, but rather keeping the waters less murky to enable better transparency during the investigation. The school is, unfortunately, the scene of the crime.

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