Angry parents demanded that members of the Loudoun County, Va., school board and Superintendent Scott Ziegler resign following revelations that surfaced in an email last week.
Zeigler informed the board members in the email of a report regarding an alleged sexual assault that occurred in a girls’ restroom about one month before he said publicly that he did not have any record of such assaults.
“You have buried a sexual assault to protect your precious 8040 policy,” said Carrie Michon, a grandmother of children who attend Loudoun County schools, said at the Tuesday evening meeting, accusing the school board and referencing a pro-transgender policy. “Every last one of you, resign!”
“You are so concerned with pushing race and gender that you sacrificed our children,” added Patti Hidalgo Menders, president of the Loudoun County GOP Women’s Club. “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.”
Another local mother, Erin Smith, said: “You just had hundreds of Loudoun County students walk out in protest because they feel unsafe in schools. Did any of you even respond to this email on May 28 from Dr. Ziegler? Was that email alarming to anyone?”
At a June 22 board meeting, Zeigler declared, “We don’t have any record of assaults occurring in our restrooms.” But he apologized for that statement on Oct. 15, claiming he “wrongly interpreted” a question “about discipline incidents in bathrooms” because he was much more focused on the 8040 controversies.
Earlier Tuesday, hundreds of students left classrooms in protest and flowed outside into parking lots and grounds surrounding the schools to protest the alleged assaults.
Loudoun County High School principal Michelle Luttrell told local media she allowed students at her school to take part in the protest without any regard to discipline.
“Students who choose to participate will not be penalized for their participation; however, we do ask that students who participate do so peacefully, without signage, and in accordance with the Students Rights and Responsibilities we all reviewed and signed at the beginning of the year,” she told local CBS affiliate WUSA9.
“The top priority of Loudoun County Public Schools is the safety and security of students and staff. Keeping this in mind, Loudoun County High School will provide a designated, safe space for students to exercise their freedom of expression,” she added.
“Listen to Broad Run High students start chanting ‘Loudon County protects rapists’ & shouting other messages,” Scott Taylor with the 7 News I-Team tweeted. “Clarification: The suspect in both sex assaults at 2 different high schools in Loudoun County was not charged or convicted of rape. @7NewsDC #7NewsITeam.”
Smith, the local mother, also lashed out at Brenda Sheridan, the chairperson of the Loudoun County board, for earlier suggesting that most parental complaints are really aimed at the state’s gubernatorial election on Nov. 2.
“We’re not here to impact elections, Brenda,” she said, noting that parents will continue to show up at board meetings to demand changes regardless of the election outcome. “Get comfy because we are not going away.”
“Fire Scott Ziegler for his gross negligence, and if you haven’t hired an attorney yet, I recommend you all find one,” another meeting attendee, Erin Dunbar, stated.
Some parents stood outside the board meeting holding signs and demanding members resign. “Protect girls not gender,” said one; “women and girls are not collateral damage,” said another, according to reports.
One parent yelled, “Scott Ziegler knew about transgender-related crime but he lied anyway…Resign now!”
Several speakers inside at the meeting also blasted former President Barack Obama, who suggested at a rally over the weekend for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe that parental concerns were overblown.
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