John Ransom | February 23, 2023
(The Lion) — The reputation of Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) took another hit after its board voted not to release a sexual assault report compiled by school attorneys.
LCPS has been under a cloud since its policy on gender neutral bathrooms resulted in multiple sexual assaults by a trans student, and a subsequent coverup by administrators, according to a grand jury report released last year.
“There were several decision points for senior LCPS administrators, up to and including the superintendent, to be transparent and step in and alter the sequence of events leading up to the October 6, 2021 BRHS sexual assault. They failed at every juncture,” the report says.
Subsequently, the board also commissioned the district’s lawyers to independently investigate the assaults and the district’s reaction.
But in a public vote on Valentine’s Day, the board decided to ignore bipartisan calls for the lawyer’s report to be made public and instead said that attorney-client privilege should be prioritized over transparency in the investigation of the rapes committed at the district’s schools, the Loudon Times Mirror reports.
Ian Prior, executive director of Fight for Schools, says the findings of the school district’s lawyers contain testimony that may be at odds with what school board members told the special grand jury.
Lying to a grand jury is perjury under Virginia law, and a Class-5 felony, which could result in a fine or jail time.
“That could be a problem for them,” said Prior about the current board members, adding that he doesn’t think the report will be released until a new set of board members are voted in who don’t have a legal conflict.
The previous superintendent, Scott Ziegler, was terminated after the grand jury report. Ziegler was also accused of firing a special education teacher who complained about being groped by a fifth-grade student, reported the Times Mirror.
“To continue to bury the truth and what occurred regarding the sexual assaults in 2021 does not demonstrate justice, integrity or service,” said board member Tiffany Polifko. “It exudes self-preservation.”
Eight of the nine members of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors also called upon the school board to release the report, saying that failure to do so raises “open questions regarding the ongoing leadership.”
“Anything less [than the release of the report] will leave the public and — frankly the Board of Supervisors — with grave concerns,” the letter read, according to local WJLA TV News.
Prior to the sex assault scandal, LCPS was under fire for social justice and racial equity policies that were some of the most aggressively progressive in the country.