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Loudoun County Hellscape Part I: Victims Be Damned
Will there be no meaningful accountability?
The weight of writing about this story has been almost unbearable. Every keystroke requires an unusual sort of effort accompanied by a prayer that God may grant the grace of a positive impact. “Positive” is not a word you would associate with the events of the past few years at Loudoun County Public Schools. And although we should be incredibly grateful to Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin and Attorney General Jason Miyares for appointing a grand jury to investigate these events and to the citizens who served on the grand jury, reading the report is painstakingly frustrating.
The report finds leadership failures at the highest levels of school administrations that are appalling, immoral, and should be criminal. Yet, no indictments have been issued. We will, therefore, examine these failures in a series of posts meant to stress the gravity of these events and amplify the victim’s continued cry for justice. Part I: Victims Be Damned.
Perhaps the most frustrating thing about the grand jury report is its lack of focus on the victims. But before I get into that, a quick summary of the events is in order.
This story became national news when the father of a girl raped in a Loudoun County school was arrested at a school board meeting as he tried to protest the lack of action on his daughter’s case. The young woman was raped by a young man wearing a skirt in a girl’s bathroom at Stone Bridge High School. The Daily Wire’s Luke Rosiak broke the story and interviewed the father and his attorney, who told him the “boy was charged with two counts of forcible sodomy – one count of anal sodomy and one count of forcible fellatio – related to an incident that day at that school.”
But the father was the one vilified for fighting for his daughter. His arrest at the school board meeting was a big part of what sparked the attention of the Attorney General of the United States, who investigated unruly parents at school board meetings as “domestic terrorists.”
Believe it or not, the rapist was transferred to another school (Broad Run High School) following his court proceedings about his assault at Stone Bridge. After harassing more young women, he finally raped another young girl in an empty classroom at this new school. The administration ignored multiple warnings leading up to the assault. And the superintendent Scott Ziegler lied to parents at the school board meeting when they asked if there had been any sexual assaults in the county schools’ restrooms.
There are many additional important details to this story, which we will discuss at the appropriate time, but for now, one more fact is worth mentioning. Part of the inaction of administrators and the reason why it is relevant that the boy wore a skirt is that the school board was, at the time, debating a policy (8040, which they proudly approved at the same time these events were happening), to protect transgender students in elementary and secondary schools, granting them many special rights, including the right to use the restroom or locker room of their choice.
But, back to the grand jury report and its troubling lack of focus on victims. Though the report finds Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) administrators “failed at every juncture,” it faults administrators for “looking out for their own interests instead of the best interests of LCPS.” What about the interest of the victims? Should they not look out for the raped young women’s interests and those of other victims that suffered under the harassment of this disturbed boy? It is alarming the grand jury reports fails to see this.
Their ultimate recommendations boil down to tightening up school procedures. Seriously? At least two young women raped, countless others sexually harassed for years, and a tightening up of school procedures is the best we can offer? Will there be no meaningful accountability?
The report doesn’t even name the “administrators.” Superintendent Scott Ziegler, mentioned earlier as having lied repeatedly to obstruct the investigation, has now been fired, but (lest you feel that any sort of justice has been carried out) here is the description of the terms of his firing from the Loudoun Now account:
Ziegler will be paid his full $ 323,000 annual salary and compensation for the next year in monthly installments. On top of his salary, his compensation includes perks such as a $12,000 annual vehicle allowance, health insurance and retirement benefits.
Is this a joke? How are the victims supposed to feel?
The grand jury reports that they asked the Broad Run principal “whether he felt any responsibility for what happened to the girl who was abducted and sexually assaulted on October 6, 2021, but he did not answer after his attorney objected and mentioned the Fifth Amendment.” Victims do not even get to hear remorse from those who put them in harm’s way.
The report's conclusion of a “lack of curiosity” and “breakdown of communication between multiple parties” for the administration's callous disregard for the safety of young women under their care, feels immensely disproportionate to the harm done in this case.
One of the ignored teachers who raised a red flag about the perpetrator talked about his “reckless behavior” in an email to her department chair. It is appalling that that is the only thing described as reckless in this report.
More to come on Loudoun County Hellscape Part II: Reckless Disregard for Women’s Safety.