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Email confirms Loudoun County school board knew about alleged sexual assault on day it happened
Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Email confirms Loudoun County school board knew about alleged sexual assault on day it happened

The Loudoun County Public Schools board was informed of an alleged sexual assault that took place in a high school bathroom on May 28, 2021, an email from Superintendent Scott Ziegler shows.

The email, which was reported by WTOP-TV, alerted the school board that an incident took place at Stone Bridge High School in which a female student alleged she was sexually assaulted by a male student in the restroom.

The May 28 email reads:

Good Afternoon, Board Members, The purpose of this email is to provide you with information regarding an incident that occurred at Stone Bridge HS. This afternoon a female student alleged that a male student sexually assaulted her in the restroom. The LCSO [Sheriff's Office] is investigating the matter. Secondary to the assault investigation, the female student's parent responded to the school and caused a disruption by using threatening and profane language that was overheard by staff and students. Additional law enforcement units responded to the school to assist with the parent. The school's counseling team is providing services for students who witnessed the parent's behavior. The alleged victim is being tended to by LCSO.

According to WTOP-TV, the details of the incident were not disclosed to the school board because the board may be involved in student disciplinary actions, and they are rarely told the specifics of major incidents at schools.

The email demonstrates, however, that the board would have known about the alleged bathroom assault at a June 22 school board meeting, where Ziegler told the public there was no record of any sexual assaults in a bathroom. A proposed policy to accommodate transgender students by letting them use whichever bathroom they wish was the topic of heated debate at the meeting. Parents had raised concerns that letting boys who identify as girls use the girls' restrooms would endanger the safety of their children.

School board member Beth Barts asked the superintendent if there were sexual assaults in restrooms occurring regularly.

"The predator transgender student or person simply does not exist," Ziegler answered at that meeting. "We don't have any record of assaults occurring in our restrooms."

But as the Daily Wire first reported, just three weeks prior a freshman girl said she was sexually assaulted by a boy wearing a skirt in the bathroom. According to an attorney for the girl's father, the suspect has been charged with two counts of forcible sodomy, one count of anal sodomy, and one count of forcible fellatio related to the incident. The same suspect is alleged to have assaulted another girl in a classroom at a different high school earlier this month.

The May 28 victim's father, who was in attendance at the school board meeting, grew visibly angry after the school board would not acknowledge his daughter's alleged assault and was arrested for disorderly conduct.

Last week, Ziegler apologized for making a "misleading" remark, claiming that he thought the question was specifically referring to assaults involving transgender students.

"First, let me say to the families and students involved, my heart aches for you," Ziegler said in an Oct. 15 statement. "And I am sorry that we failed to provide the safe, welcoming and affirming environment that we aspire to provide. We acknowledge and share your pain and we will continue to offer you support to help your families through this trauma."

The victim's family now intends to file a civil lawsuit against the school. Bill Stanley, an attorney representing the family, said in a statement that Ziegler's apology confirmed that the school administration "failed to provide the safe environment" for the victim.

"As evidenced by subsequent events and revelations, Loudoun Public Schools have been failing the parents who entrusted them to provide a safe environment for their children every day," Stanley said. "That trust has (been) irrevocably broken by Loudoun County Public Schools' actions and inactions."

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