Mainstream broadcast networks failed to cover a Tuesday night report that alleged a Virginia school board covered up a rape allegation against a boy who wore a skirt in the girls' bathroom, according to a media analysis.
The Loudoun County School Board kept the rape allegations quiet as it successfully pushed to adopt a policy that allows students to choose which bathroom to use based on their preferred gender, according to the Daily Wire. The alleged rapist was reportedly transferred to another school where he was later charged with sexual battery and abduction of another student. Neither ABC, CBS, nor NBC dedicated primetime coverage to the report, according to the Media Research Center. Networks focused coverage on Texas governor Greg Abbott (R.) as he signed an executive order that bans vaccine mandates.
"How can one call itself a news organization when it blacks out coverage of a story like this, which has such broad impact on the safety of our children and education?" Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center, tweeted.
SHAME. How can one call itself a news organization when it blacks out coverage of a story like this, which has such broad impact on the safety of our children and education?
And they wonder why ratings and trust of the media continue to tank. https://t.co/GIEY5Cw2s9
— Brent Bozell (@BrentBozell) October 13, 2021
The father of the alleged victim, Scott Smith, was arrested in June at a school board meeting on the proposed transgender bathroom policy after the meeting was deemed an "unlawful assembly" of concerned parents. Scott Ziegler, the superintendent of the school district, denied having knowledge of any arrests regarding incidents in the bathroom and said that "the predator transgender student or person simply does not exist," according to the Daily Wire report. Smith's arrest came less than a month after the alleged rape.
"If someone would have sat and listened for 30 seconds to what Scott had to say, they would have been mortified and heartbroken," Smith's lawyer told the Daily Wire.
The National School Boards Association cited Scott's arrest in a letter to the Department of Justice that called for investigations into violence at school board meetings. The DOJ in October eventually directed the FBI to investigate this potential violence.