The newly revealed email from Loudoun County Public Schools' superintendent alerting school board members about an alleged sexual assault on school property contradicts his later public statements that there was no record.
Superintendent Scott Ziegler claims that his public statement was made after misinterpreting an email question. He sent the email on May 28 and stated that the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office was investigating an alleged assault at Stone Bridge High School.
This email was sent to you in order to give you information about an incident at Stone Bridge HS," Ziegler stated in the email that WTOP News obtained. "This afternoon, a female student claimed that a male student had sexually assaulted and abused her in the bathroom. The matter is under investigation by the LCSO.
He then addressed a school board meeting on June 22 about claims that a girl student was raped in a girl's bathroom.
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The Daily Wire published an October report by Stone Bridge's father in which he claimed that his daughter was raped in Stone Bridge's girls' restroom on May 28th. On Oct. 6, another incident occurred in the same school district. A female student at Broad Run High School, Ashburn, was allegedly forced to enter a classroom by the same student who had raped his daughter on May 28th.
Loudoun County Commonwealths attorney Buta Biberaj said that a 15-year-old Ashburn man has been charged with both of these crimes. He is currently being held at Loudoun County Juvenile detention Center.
The resulting fallout saw parents demand Ziegler's resignation as superintendent at an Oct. 12 Loudoun County school Board meeting. They accuse Ziegler of overseeing the cover-ups for two sexual assaults that occurred on school grounds.
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Ziegler, who issued an apology for the school system's reaction to recent sexual assaults at school grounds on Oct. 15, said that members of the school board had "acknowledged and shared your pain." He stated that he would make changes to ensure that school discipline and criminal investigation can occur simultaneously.
John Beatty, a Loudoun County School Board member, stated that Ziegler's email from May 28 shows that the school requires an investigation. Beatty claimed he spoke on his own behalf and said that he didn't recall ever receiving the email.
Ziegler's June 22 response was "incredibly concerning," Beatty stated on WMAL.
Beatty stated, "I always try to give people the benefit-of-the doubt. So I believe it's important that all facts are available so we can be fair for students and employees and not make rash decisions." It is extremely concerning to hear this and to see all the other information coming to light.
Ziegler has since apologized for his comments made at the June 22 meeting. He said he misunderstood the question believing that it was only about transgender students.
He said that I regretted my misleading comments and that I apologize for any distress caused to families. I should have asked [Beth] Barts clarification questions to get to her core question, rather than assume she meant what I mean.
The Virginia Department of Education is currently investigating discrepancies found in LCPS reports.
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"During the last week, Loudoun County Public Schools received a lot of questions from community members about when and if the School Board was made aware that there had been an alleged sexual assault at Stone Bridge High School on May 28th," LCPS stated in a statement. ABC 7 reported it.
"Board members receive regular updates about major incidents in schools. The statement said that the superintendent had sent an email message to members of the board regarding the case. It was sent on Friday, May 28, 2021. "... The message informed board members that there was an incident and that the Loudoun County Sheriffs Office was investigating the matter. LCPS stated that the School Board was not given any details or names. Dr. Ziegler informed them that the Loudoun County Sheriffs Office was investigating the matter. Prior to the June 22 2021 meeting, the School Board was not provided with any information by LCPS staff. This did not happen at any other point than the publication of the most recent news reports.
The next Loudoun County Public Schools school board meeting will be held Oct. 26.
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Tags: News, Virginia, Education, Sexual Assault, School Discipline
Original Author: Asher Notheis
Original Location: Email shows Loudon superintendent was aware of the bathroom sexual assaults on the same day