Hours After Loudoun County Students Walk Out of Schools, Parents Take Their Demands to School Board


Loudoun County, Virginia, parents have a clear message for their school board and superintendent: It’s time for them to go.

At a meeting Tuesday night, parents demanded the Loudoun County School Board and Superintendent Scott Ziegler resign, according to Fox News.

This comes after an uncovered email showed the superintendent knew about a May 28 sexual assault in a high school girl’s bathroom by a boy wearing a skirt but didn’t disclose it when asked at a school board meeting regarding transgender bathrooms.

That student, who was transferred to another school in Loudoun County, was accused of a subsequent sexual assault on Oct. 6.

On Monday, the now-15-year-old boy — who the parents of the victim said described himself as “gender-fluid,” according to WUSA-TV — was convicted of all charges in the May 28 case.

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The school board meeting came just hours after The Washington Post estimated 2,500 students walked out of Loudoun County schools in protest of the alleged sexual assaults.

“You are so concerned with pushing race and gender that you sacrificed our children,” Patti Hidalgo Menders, president of the Loudoun County GOP Women’s Club, told the board on Tuesday. “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.”

“We demand the resignation of Scott Ziegler,” Alicia Brand said.

Amanda Shallott, meanwhile, told the board that “LCPS protects rapists” and said the school board “covered up the assault” and that “Ziegler lied about it.”

“I call for immediate resignations of Dr. Ziegler and any of you that had knowledge of the rape this spring,” Shallott said.

Another father called upon Ziegler to “end the mockery you have brought on this great county.”

“You have buried a sexual assault to protect your precious 8040 policy,” said Carrie Michon, a grandmother of schoolchildren in Loudoun County. “Every last one of you, resign!”

The 8040 policy is the district’s guidance regarding transgender students, including what facilities they can use.

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“All students are entitled to have access to restrooms and locker rooms that are sanitary, safe, and adequate, so that they can comfortably and fully engage in their school programs and activities. Students should be allowed to use the facility that corresponds to their gender identity,” the pertinent part reads.

The Virginia Department of Education requires similar guidance on transgender students for all schools, although there’s a subtle difference in its model policies: “Schools frequently maintain separate restrooms, locker rooms or other facilities for males and females. Students should be allowed to use the facility that corresponds to their consistently asserted gender identity.” [Emphasis ours.]

This may not necessarily be a distinction without a difference; “consistently asserted” would entail, at some level, a higher bar to use the facilities of the opposite sex as opposed to mere “gender identity.”

Whatever the case, Loudoun County’s policies passed in August, according to CNN.

In June, the New York Post reported, Ziegler said “we don’t have any records of assaults occurring in our restrooms.” Yet, as the email revealed, he’d been notified of the May 28 case on the day it happened.

At that same meeting, the father of the victim in the case — Scott Smith — was arrested after he confronted district officials and a scuffle with police ensued.

Ziegler apologized for his comments at the June meeting last week, calling them “misleading” and saying he thought the question was “about the process, the experiences of students, and plans for transgender students and bathroom use during that discussion.”

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“You just had hundreds of Loudoun County students walk out in protest because they feel unsafe in schools,” local mom Erin Smith said at Tuesday night’s meeting. “Did any of you even respond to this email on May 28 from Dr. Ziegler? Was that email alarming to anyone?”

Smith was referring to numerous protests at Loudoun County schools earlier in the day:

Smith also had choice words for school board Chairwoman Brenda Sheridan, who had said parental anger had much to do with the upcoming Nov. 2 gubernatorial election.

“We’re not here to impact elections, Brenda,” she said, adding they’d be back. “Get comfy because we are not going away.”

Loudoun County has been ground zero for parents revolting against school boards that have lurched too far to the left and don’t feel accountable to the parents whose children they teach.

The revelation that the superintendent knew about the sexual assault, refused to disclose it during a school board meeting and is now claiming he misunderstood the question has simply ignited the powder keg — particularly now that the convicted perpetrator has been accused of another crime.

The Loudoun County School Board and its superintendent need to listen to their students, parents, and constituents: It’s time to go. They’ve done enough damage.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture