As the Virginia gubernatorial election nears, scandal continues to explode in the state, particularly in the Loudoun County public school system regarding a female student who said she was sexually assaulted in a school bathroom earlier this year.
According to the Washington Examiner, Superintendent Scott Ziegler reportedly sent an email to staff on May 28 informing them that the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office was investigating a sexual assault incident in a bathroom at Stone Bridge High School, which completely contradicts his latest statements on the incident.
Defending his position, Ziegler now claims that his contradicting statement was made after the misinterpretation of a question regarding the matter. Ziegler insisted in June at a school board meeting that no such record of a bathroom-based sexual assault existed, saying at the time, “We don’t have any record of assaults occurring in our restrooms.”
The truth emerges
The school board meeting, which was described as “unruly,” was after the father of the allegedly assaulted female student accused a boy “wearing a skirt” of sexually assaulting her in the bathroom at the high school.
Notably, a similar incident occurred as recently as October, and the same teenage boy accused of the first incident was apparently charged in the second incident as well. The teenaged male accused of the assaults is currently in the Loudoun County Juvenile Detention Center.
It’s no surprise that a number of concerned parents demanded that Ziegler resigns over the alleged cover-up of both incidents. Now, with the newly obtained email that proves he was well aware of the first incident and lied about it to parents, the possibility of his resignation is much more likely.
The email, which was obtained by local media outlet WTOP, made crystal clear that Ziegler knew everything, as he wrote to staffers, “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 is investigating the matter,” the email continued.
It was on Oct. 15 that the embattled superintendent issued an apology to parents over the situation, assuring them that the district would make improvements moving forward, and offer any assistance to families and victims as needed.
“First, let me say to the families and students involved, my heart aches for you,” Ziegler said. “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.”
But attorneys for the family involved say the apology was a day late and a dollar short, as the family intends to file a civil lawsuit against the Loudoun County public school system for failing to provide a safe environment for its 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,” attorney Bill Stanley said. “That trust has (been) irrevocably broken by Loudoun County Public Schools’ actions and inactions.”