Loudoun County school board faces new round of outrage

Loudoun County school leaders are facing a new round of wrath from parents and students over their handling of two sex assault cases.

Dozens of students walked out of class after parents helped organize a protest, and then dozens more gathered for a rally during Tuesday night’s school board meeting. 
During that meeting, where 120 people signed up to speak, some called for Superintendent Scott Ziegler and school board members to resign.

READ MORE: Loudoun County students students walk out, parents protest against sexual assault

Parent after parent had harsh criticism for leaders.

“The school has a special responsibility to ensure that all of our kids are safe when they walk through those doors. In this case they weren’t,” said rally organizer Elicia Brand.

Brand is also working with the family of one of the victims – a 15-year-old girl attacked in a bathroom at Stone Bridge High School in May. 

READ MORE: Loudoun County school board member under fire from parents group resigns

This week a judge ruled the now 15-year-old suspect was guilty. The victim testified she had met up with him in the bathroom on two other occasions, but this time he forced himself on her.

After his arrest, the Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office recommended that he be moved to a different school, not that he be pulled from school altogether. The same student was then accused of groping a girl at Broad Run High School this month.

Even though the school district was aware of the first assault accusation, parents and the public weren’t notified of any incident. It took weeks for the sheriff’s office to arrest the student, but even after that, parents weren’t notified. Notification about the October allegation did go out. 

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Some parents who are angry about how this was handled have a list of grievances with the superintendent and school board.

Another rally was held simultaneously Tuesday where those attending said the loudest voices in the county don’t represent everyone.

Mary Vish said she came to counter the narrative portrayed in national media about the county.

“I think that we’re out here today to make sure that people are aware that there is a whole contingent of people who feel that the county is doing the best they can. That maybe there are some issues that need to be addressed, but they need to be addressed with actual hard work and policy change, not with yelling and screaming, stomping our feet and making baseless accusations,” Vish said.

FOX 5 requested to speak to Ziegler Tuesday, but was told he wasn’t granting interviews.

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