I am writing in response to the article titled “Ziegler calls for changes to school division, laws, following pair of sexual assaults,” published on October 15th, 2021.
Ian Prior, executive director of the activist group Fight for Schools, and a critic of Superintendent Ziegler, claimed that “there’s no bigger tell of lacking accountability than blaming ‘the system’... systems don’t make decisions to put a student accused of rape back into school - people do.” However, I would like to disagree with this point. Society contributes to individual problems, thus it is necessary to take a step back and examine patterns to determine why these things happen and to devise an effective solution.
We must not focus solely on the student accused of rape, but rather analyze rape culture as a whole. For example, societal attitudes about gender and sexuality play a part in how rape is perceived. Another aspect that may come into play is place. Loudoun County is a very privileged, wealthy area, so perspectives and prior assumptions about sexual assault may be affected by location. Private troubles are often connected to public issues driven by societal forces. How does society view sexual assault, and how does that contribute to this particular case?
These are the questions that Superintendent Ziegler and the Loudoun County School Board should be asking.