A recently uncovered May 28 email confirms the superintendent of Loudoun County Public Schools, Scott Ziegler, knew about sexual assault incidents at Stone Bridge High School despite saying the opposite in a later school board meeting, reports local outlet WTOP.
Virginia dad Scott Smith was notified on May 28 that his 15-year-old daughter had been allegedly assaulted in a girls’ restroom, he says by a “gender-fluid” male masquerading as a female. He says school officials told him the issue was being handled in-house. The existence of the incident was not made public until October, when it was reported that the perpetrator groped a different girl at Broad Run High School, where he had been transferred after the first alleged assault.
During a meeting in June, Smith confronted the Loudoun County School Board about its proposed policy to allow students to use the opposite sex’s bathrooms. He was arrested for protesting the policy and the National School Boards Association labeled him a domestic terrorist for questioning the board about his ninth-grade daughter’s alleged assault in a bathroom by a gender-dysphoric male.
“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… The school’s counseling team is providing services for students who witnessed the parent’s behavior,” Ziegler, whose annual salary is $295,000, wrote in the email.
At the time of Smith’s arrest in June, Ziegler assured the public that “to my knowledge, we don’t have any record of assaults occurring in our restrooms.” But the May 28 email, obtained by WTOP News, confirms that Ziegler knew about the alleged assault, and “failed to provide a safe environment” for children.
“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,” said Bill Stanley, the Smith family’s attorney. “That trust has (been) irrevocably broken by Loudoun County Public Schools’ actions and inactions.”
Ziegler’s email was sent to all members of the Loudoun County School Board, many of whom also denied sexual assault allegations. Board member Beth Barts resigned last week amid a fierce recall campaign to strip the board of its power amid myriad parent complaints.
“Our students do not need to be protected, and they are not in danger,” Barts said in June, after Ziegler had sent her the email about the alleged bathroom assault by a boy wearing a skirt. “Do we have assaults in our bathrooms or locker rooms regularly?”
During the same meeting, board chairwoman Brenda Sheridan, who also received the email a month prior, asked if the district had “any issues involving transgender students in our bathrooms or locker rooms.”
Recent data proves that the school district has failed to report alleged sexual assaults for years, including Smith’s daughter’s allegations. When LCPS reported to the Virginia Department of Education, the district said that “Stone Bridge had zero sexual assaults for the 2020-2021 school year, which includes May 28, 2021.” Ziegler’s email, dated May 28, confirms that the district had knowledge of the situation, but failed to report it.
In a press conference last week, Ziegler blamed Title IX for being “insufficient to address issues at the K-12 level,” saying that the process could be “strengthened with some reforms.” Title IX has never banned schools from referring serious alleged crimes to local police.
The superintendent, who oversees 94 schools and more than 80,000 students, said the district “complied with our obligations under Title IX,” offering no apology to Smith’s daughter or the other students Ziegler’s district failed to protect.