The superintendent for Loudoun County Public Schools failed to report a sexual assault at a local high school properly to the Virginia Department of Education, according to newly released emails.
The emails and a November 2021 letter show that Loudoun County Public Schools failed to include the May 2021 sexual assault in a required annual report to the Virginia Department of Education on incidents in district schools that are reported to law enforcement.
The sexual assault occurred in the girls' bathroom at Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn, Virginia, in May 2021 and drew national headlines after it was revealed that district officials had failed to notify parents properly. The district also allowed the male perpetrator, who was wearing a skirt at the time of the assault, to transfer to a different school, where he committed a second assault.
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In the documents obtained by 7News, the Northern Virginia ABC affiliate, then-Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane wrote to Loudoun Superintendent Scott Ziegler allowing him the opportunity to revise the district's 2020-2021 Discipline, Crime, and Violence report to include the assault, nearly six months after it initially occurred.
The letter was sent after October emails by Virginia education officials informed the school district that they had seen news reports of the assault but did not see the incident reflected in the district's already submitted report for the 2020-2021 school year.
"We have seen in recent news stories that there were criminal charges filed against a student at Stone Bridge High School last May for sexual assault against another student," Virginia assistant superintendent Dave Myers wrote in an Oct. 14, 2021, email. "Loudoun County Public Schools certified and submitted the 2020-2021 school year discipline, crime, and violence (DCV) report to the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) on August 13, 2021. We do not see where that incident was reported on the DCV data collection or recorded that the incident was reported to law enforcement as required."
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The Loudoun County School Board has faced accusations that it covered up the assault in order to pass a resolution requiring all district schools to permit students to use school bathrooms and locker rooms based on their gender identity rather than their biological sex.
The board discussed the measure at a June 2021 meeting that descended into chaos after the female victim's father, Loudoun resident Scott Smith, addressed the board. A struggle with law enforcement ensued after Smith reacted negatively to a woman he claims told him she didn't believe his daughter had been assaulted.