Loudoun County Schools Ordered To Disclose Info on Handling of 2021 Sexual Assaults

Former Loudoun County Public Schools superintendent Scott Ziegler
May 31, 2023

A circuit court judge on Tuesday ordered Loudoun County Public Schools to release to the Virginia attorney general its independent review on the district’s handling of two sexual assaults in 2021.

The school board voted in February to keep the review’s findings sealed, but it now has seven days to hand over the report. The attorney general’s office will then determine whether to release it to the public.

The independent review covers how the school district handled two sexual assaults in two different schools by the same male student who reportedly identified as "gender-fluid." After the student raped a ninth-grade girl in a school bathroom, he was moved to a different school where he sexually assaulted another girl.

The court order is the latest episode in the fallout after the sexual assaults were reported by the Daily Wire in 2021. The revelations helped Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R., Va.) win election that November on a platform that emphasized parental rights in education.

The judge also said the school board appeared to have violated the Virginia Freedom of Information Act. He said the school board had held closed-door meetings without giving a sufficiently specific description of the meeting’s content, according to school board member John Beatty, who was in the courtroom.

Beatty, who supported the report’s release, told the Washington Free Beacon that school board members had read the report but were not given their own copies due to confidentiality concerns. Beatty said former superintendent Scott Ziegler, however, an unelected employee of the district, received "his own personal copy" of the report that he "could use and refer to."

"The fact that school board members weren't allowed to have copies of it, but it was given to our employees—that’s just sort of the perfidy of the whole situation," Beatty said.

Ziegler was notified of the first assault via email weeks before claiming at a school board meeting there was no "record of assaults occurring in our restrooms," the Free Beacon reported. The board fired Ziegler in December, a week before he was indicted by a grand jury for false publication, prohibited conduct, and penalizing an employee for a court appearance. Former public information officer Wayde Byard was indicted on felony perjury.

Published under: Loudoun County , Virginia