Parents outraged at Virginia school superintendent’s handling of two sexual assault cases
LOUDOUN COUNTY, Virginia (CNN) - Some parents in Loudoun County, Virginia are outraged over how the school district handled reports of two recent sexual assaults inside schools.
Loudoun County School Superintendent Scott Ziegler apologized to families involved in two alleged sexual assaults in bathrooms at two different high schools, allegedly by the same 14-year-old student.
“He didn’t answer any of the questions that parents are asking, which is when were you made aware of this sexual assault,” Amy Jahr, a parent in the district, said.
Jahr is referring to the first alleged sexual assault in May at Stone Bridge High.
A lawsuit announced last week by the victim’s family alleges it was by a biologically male student who said they were gender fluid and used the girls’ bathroom.
That assault allegedly happened in May, before Loudoun County exploded in controversy this summer over a bathroom gender policy.
Jahr thinks Ziegler hid it from the public during an exchange in June, in which Loudoun County school board member Beth Barts asked if the district regularly had assaults in the bathroom and locker rooms.
“To my knowledge, we don’t have any records of assaults occurring in our restrooms,” Ziegler said in response to the question.
On Friday, Ziegler addressed parents:
“I regret that my comments were misleading, and I apologize for the distress that error caused families,” he said. “I should have asked board member Barts clarifying questions to get to the root of her question rather than assuming what she meant.”
Jahr isn’t buying that Ziegler misunderstood the question, saying the question was really clear.
Loudoun County public schools said in a statement there are questions that can’t be answered due to student confidentiality. But added, the district is committed to finding ways to ensure that Loudoun County schools are safe for all students.
Copyright 2021 CNN. All rights reserved.