Virginia School Superintendent Knew of Bathroom Rape Before He Publicly Denied Knowledge

No "record of assaults occurring in our restrooms," Scott Ziegler said weeks after he informed school board of allegations

Former Loudoun County Public Schools superintendent Scott Ziegler
October 22, 2021

An email released by Virginia's Loudoun County Public Schools shows the district superintendent knew of a rape case in a high school bathroom weeks before he said there had been no reports of sexual assaults in the district's restrooms.

Superintendent Scott Ziegler emailed school board members on May 28, the day a boy who identified as "gender fluid" allegedly raped a female peer in a women’s restroom in Stone Bridge High School. Ziegler notified his colleagues of the allegations and said the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office had been dispatched to investigate the incident, according to an email obtained by WTOP News.

Less than a month later, however, the superintendent claimed in a meeting that the district had no "record of assaults occurring in our restrooms." Ziegler cited a 2016 Time magazine article claiming that transgender students who used bathrooms based on their "gender identity" did not pose a threat to their peers.

"The data was simply not playing out that transgender students were more likely to assault cisgender students in restrooms than were other students," Ziegler said at the June 22 meeting. "In fact, regardless of the gender or gender identity of a student, if a crime or a violation of the rules is committed that would be investigated and dealt with to the full extent of the rules or the law."

During that meeting, school officials debated a series of rules to protect transgender students—one of which would allow Loudoun County students to use restrooms based on their gender identity rather than their biological sex. The school board approved the guidelines in August.

The alleged perpetrator was arrested in July but released and allowed to attend school while investigators processed DNA evidence. He was transferred to Broad Run High School, where he allegedly assaulted another student in a classroom on Oct. 6.

Ziegler said in his email that Stone Bridge High School officials called police to handle the alleged victim’s parent, who "caused a disruption by using threatening and profane language" when he went to the school on the day of the incident.

Beth Barts, one of the school board members who said transgender students pose no threat to their cisgender peers, announced her resignation days after the Daily Wire reported on the rape allegations. Loudoun County Public Schools said they could not comment on student records in a previous statement to the Washington Free Beacon. The district told WTOP it decided to release the email after facing questions about the school board’s knowledge of the incident.