Loudoun Co. schools won’t release report on response to sexual assaults

After months of back-and-forth, the Loudoun County School Board voted Tuesday night against releasing an internal report investigating how the Virginia school system’s handled two student sexual assaults.

“What are you covering up?” a man is heard yelling after the vote to release the report failed 3-6.

The school board probed into how the system responded to reports of two in-school sexual assaults by the same student in 2021, with some accusing it of covering up the assaults.

Parents have been calling on the board to release the independent report for months, but the school board opted to keep it from going public, citing concerns over attorney-client privilege and student privacy.

“Releasing the report would cause a subject matter waiver of every communication that anyone in LCPS has had with their people counsel, broadly related to these incidents over the last year and a half,” Chairman Ian Serotkin said at the board meeting before voting against the release.

“If I could disentangle the release of the report from that, I would but we cannot,” he said.

The decision comes even as several members of the school board had previously signaled they would support releasing the report’s findings.

“To continue to bury the truth in what occurred throughout the horrific sexual assaults in 2021 does not demonstrate justice, integrity of service, it exudes self preservation,” board member Tiffany Polifko said.

The school board fired its superintendent Scott Ziegler after a special grand jury report faulted school system for a “a stunning lack of openness,” and a failure to prevent the second sexual assault from happening.

Ziegler and the school spokesman, Wayde Byard, were indicted by a special grand jury investigating the sexual assaults. Both men deny any wrongdoing.

The student charged with assaulting the two girls has been convicted and ordered to attend a locked residential treatment facility until he turns 18.

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