As a Teacher, I’m Saddened by Loudoun County Public Schools’ Disregard for Student Safety

Juliana Sweeny | November 7, 2023

(The Lion) — Students at Loudoun County Public Schools are speaking out about their safety, but LCPS administrators are more concerned about upholding woke agendas than they are about restoring common sense policies in their buildings.

While children are being shipped to hospitals due to on-campus drug overdoses, the construction of floor-to-ceiling, gender-neutral bathroom stalls continues.

On Oct. 31, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office confirmed a record-number of on-campus overdoses at Park View High School this fall.

Students close to the issue have said that school feels like a revolving door of ambulances – a shameful reality suggesting that LCPS board members are more focused on creating gender-neutral spaces than revoking policies that exacerbate the overuse of drugs at school. The disregard for student safety should alarm Virginia voters who will cast ballots for local and state-wide offices on Tuesday.

What makes the situation even more troubling is the disparate treatment of student protests.

This week, nearly 100 students at Woodgrove High School, a few miles down the road from Park View, staged a walkout because of the continued construction of gender-neutral bathrooms.

In recent years, Loudoun County has shown public support for LGBTQ student protests and promoted their ideologies on a wide scale. However, when it comes to students raising awareness about the bathroom stall issue and expressing their sincere concerns with personal safety, it seems that their voices are being silenced or ignored. This double standard is unacceptable. 

The news of severe drug overuse and the student-led protest within the same week at LCPS comes just before Tuesday’s election, when voters will have the opportunity to replace all nine seats on the LCPS school board.

It has been a tragic and tumultuous four years at schools in Loudoun County – from the cover-up of student rape, to extreme COVID-lockdown policies, to increased drug use, to the disregard for parental concerns, to the implementation of harmful policies for which students ultimately pay. 

The students, teachers and families in Loudoun County cannot keep paying for the decisions of far-off administrators who implement the ideologies of left-wing radicals – radicals who do not represent the whole citizenship of Loudoun County. 

LCPS needs a renovation of its reputation and leadership, not of its bathroom stalls.  

In the last four years, the school system has become known for leading the charge on woke policies and extreme left-wing agendas. Perhaps in the next four years, however, LCPS can become known for the rehabilitation of common-sense education.  

Not long ago, Northern Virginia schools were known for their excellent educational standards. This reputation can be restored – but only with a drastic change in leadership and reversal of harmful policies.  

Ultimately, parents and voters must recognize that students – future leaders of the next generation – are the individuals who carry the weight of experimental social policies.

Students are being sent to hospitals because of poor enforcement of drug policies; students are being raped on campus and then ignored by school officials; and it is students who do not feel safe to use the bathroom facilities at school.

Juliana Sweeny is a teacher who coaches volleyball at a Christian school in Loudoun County, Virginia.