Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R.) on Friday pardoned Scott Smith, a Loudoun County dad who protested the school board's handling of his daughter's sexual assault in a school bathroom.
"This was a gross miscarriage of justice, and I was so pleased to speak with [Smith] on Friday and be able to issue a full pardon for him," Youngkin announced Sunday on Fox News.
Smith faced charges of disorderly conduct at a Loudoun County School Board meeting in June 2021 after speaking out against Loudoun County Public School district's bathroom policy, which allows transgender-identifying males to use women's restrooms. Smith's case garnered national attention as parents across the country fight with school boards over radical transgender ideology in public schools.
In May 2021, a reportedly "gender-fluid" male student wearing a skirt sexually assaulted Smith's daughter in a women's restroom at Stone Bridge High School. Following a "verbal confrontation" with another community member at the board meeting, Smith was forcibly removed by police and "wrongfully prosecuted and convicted," according to Youngkin's pardon.
"We righted a wrong," Youngkin said. "He should have never been prosecuted here. This was a dad standing up for his daughter. And just to remind everyone, his daughter had been sexually assaulted in the bathroom of a school and no one was doing anything about it."
After Smith's daughter was attacked, Loudoun County Public Schools quietly transferred the assailant to Broad Run High School, where he assaulted another female student five months later. A state investigation of LCPS's handling of the two attacks led to a grand jury indicting former district superintendent Scott Ziegler and former public information officer Wayde Byard for their mishandling of the cases. The district by that time had already fired both Ziegler and Byard.
"A parent's fundamental right to be involved in their child's education, upbringing, and care should never be undermined by bureaucracy, school divisions, or the state," Youngkin said in a statement announcing his pardon.
"Mr. Smith did what any father would do, what any parent would do, [which is] stand up for their child," the governor told Fox News.