The parents of a ninth-grade girl who was sexually assaulted in a women's bathroom by a gender-fluid "boy in a skirt" classmate in Loudoun County last year are outraged after the county's progressive school board decided not to publicly release a report on the incident and others that were similar.
What are the details?
In a statement issued Friday, the girl's parents, Scott and Jessica Smith, slammed the school district, claiming that board members were continuing to skirt responsibility for horrific incidents that took place at Loudoun County schools last year amid the district's move to open up bathrooms for transgender students.
The father, Scott Brown, was arrested during a raucous school board meeting in June 2021 while raising awareness about the incident involving his daughter. He would later go public, accusing the district of intentionally burying details about sexual assault incidents.
"We believe that once again LCPS continues to engage in an active cover-up, and are attempting to avoid being accountable to the victims and their families," Friday's statement read.
"The question must be asked — how can an outside independent investigation, funded by the taxpayers, not be released and is instead kept secret from the public?" it continued. "While the school system's law firm continues to hide the truth, our lawyers will reveal the truth during the course of our Title IX lawsuit against Loudoun County.”
The parents' fury came in response to a school board press release on Friday, in which the board stated it would not release a taxpayer-funded report documenting the incidents in order to protect the privacy of the families involved.
"First and foremost, the report cannot be released because the privacy of the families involved must be protected," the board said. "The national interest in this investigation would preclude any chance of allowing the families to heal in private and to move forward with dignity. The Division and our Board believe we must do whatever we can to avoid retraumatizing the students and the families involved in the incidents."
What's the background?
Smith claims that last year when he was informed of the sexual assault against his daughter, administration officials at her high school told him they would handle the incident "in-house." But nothing substantial followed. Then later, in October, the gender-fluid boy was accused of assaulting another female classmate.
At the time, LCPS was pushing a policy that would allow students to use a bathroom that aligns with their gender identity rather than their biological sex.
Last week, the 15-year-old "boy in a skirt" who committed the sexual assaults was ordered by a judge to undergo psychological treatment at a juvenile detention center. The judge presiding over the case also took an action that she has never taken before: She ordered the juvenile to register as a sex offender for life.
According to WTOP-TV, the teen was found guilty of one felony count of forcible sodomy and one felony count of forcible fellatio in a May 28 incident at Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn. That incident is reportedly the one involving the Smiths' daughter. He was also found guilty on one felony count of abduction and one misdemeanor count of sexual battery in a separate assault involving a second victim at Broad Run High School on Oct. 6
During his sentencing, the judge said she decided to make the teen register as a sex offender after viewing frightening results from a court-ordered psychological evaluation.
"Yours scares me," the judge said. "What I read scares me for yourself, your family, and society in general. Young man, you need a lot of help.”
When Smith spoke out about his daughter's assault last year, the controversy became a national story. But the LCPS board has denied that it was aware of the sexual assault allegations. However, many — including the Smiths — think the board has covered up its involvement in an effort to avoid a national media firestorm.
Barring the public release of the report, any information incriminating LCPS board members will likely remain hidden.
In one of his first actions after taking office this week, Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin instructed his attorney general to investigate the school district's response to the two sexual assaults.
Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares said in a statement that “Loudoun County Public Schools covered up a sexual assault on school grounds for political gain, leading to an additional assault of a young girl."
“What we’re going to be looking into is the entire circumstances around the decisions that were made to actually move this young man from one school to another, to not inform parents, to not inform the community and oh, by the way, clearly to put other students in risk for their safety,” Youngkin reportedly added in an interview with Fox News on Sunday.