Parents are demanding a Virginia superintendent and school board resign following allegations they lied and tried to cover up the sexual assault of a female student earlier this year.
Furious parents called for the resignations as they protested at the Loudoun County school board meeting on Tuesday night – a day after a 15-year-old boy was found guilty of sexually assaulting the girl in a female bathroom at Stone Bridge High School.
The parents have accused Superintendent Scott Ziegler of lying about his knowledge of the assault, which occurred in May, after an email surfaced last week that contradicted comments he made at a school board meeting where he denied any bathroom assaults had occurred, Fox News reports.
“You are so concerned with pushing race and gender that you sacrificed our children,” Patti Hidalgo Menders, who is president of the Loudoun County GOP Women’s Club, told the board meeting Tuesday night.
“A girl was sexually assaulted in May, and you all knew about it. The predator was put back in schools to sexually assault another girl. You all should be fired.”
After the initial assault, the boy was transferred to another school within the district — Broad Run High School — where he allegedly assaulted another female student earlier this month.
The school district has repeatedly denied any claims of a cover-up and said they alerted authorities to both assaults.
In the email, dated May 28, 2021, Ziegler referenced the female student’s allegation that she had been assaulted in the bathroom by the male teenager.
At a board meeting on June 22, Ziegler said to his knowledge, “we don’t have any record of assaults occurring in our restrooms.”
The sexual assault ignited a political firestorm after the victim’s father, Scott Smith, was arrested and branded a domestic terrorist when he defended his daughter at a volatile Loudoun County school board meeting earlier this year.
He claimed his daughter was attacked in the girl’s bathroom by a boy “wearing a skirt,” sparking backlash against a policy in Loudoun County schools that allows transgender students to use bathrooms that match their gender identity.
However, that policy was adopted months after the May assault and authorities have not commented on the youth’s gender identity, according to the Washington Post.
Still, Carrie Michon, whose grandchildren attend Loudoun County schools, accused the board Tuesday night of covering up the sexual assault in order to push its pro-transgender policy, which allows students to use restrooms that coincides with the gender they identify as.
“You have buried a sexual assault to protect your precious 8040 policy,” Michon said. “Every last one of you, resign.”
“Fire Scott Ziegler for his gross negligence, and if you haven’t hired an attorney yet, I recommend you all find one,” another parent, Erin Dunbar, said.
The protests from parents came just hours after hundreds of students walked out over their school district’s handling of reported on-campus sexual assaults.