Another series of sexual assaults have been reported in Loudoun County Public Schools as the Virginia school district continues to face scrutiny over its handling of two sexual assaults committed by a trans-identified male.
The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office released a statement Thursday announcing that it was investigating reports of multiple sexual assaults at Harmony Middle School earlier in the week. The sexual assaults involved “a male student touching students inappropriately over their clothing.”
“At the end of the school day on October 27, the LCSO School Resource Office learned from school staff that earlier in the day a male student was inappropriately touched over his clothing by another male student in a hallway. At this time detectives have determined there are additional male students who were inappropriately touched by the same juvenile. Those incidents had not been previously reported to school officials or law enforcement.”
Harmony Middle School Principal Eric Stewart emailed parents about the incidents on Thursday, after word of the sexual assaults began to spread on social media. “Harmony’s administration is reviewing the alleged incident with school staff and our school resource officer,” he said. “Because this involves possible disciplinary consequences, I cannot go into details.”
“I wanted you to know that something out of the ordinary happened at school yesterday, that the administration is aware of it, and that we are taking all the proper steps following such an incident. The safety and security of our students and staff is the top priority of Loudoun County Public Schools,” Stewart added.
The reports of sexual assaults at Harmony Middle School come as Loudoun County Public Schools continues to face criticism over its handling of two other sexual assaults that occurred at two separate high schools in the district at the hands of the same trans-identified male. The first sexual assault occurred on May 28 in a girls’ bathroom at Stone Bridge High School as the district was considering a policy that would allow trans-identified students to use bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity as opposed to their biological sex.
At an impassioned June 22 school board meeting, where parents showed up to protest the proposed policy, Superintendent of Schools Scott Ziegler insisted that no sexual assaults had taken place in any of the district’s bathrooms. The school board approved the policy on Aug. 10, and eight weeks later, the perpetrator of the May 28 assault sexually assaulted another girl at Broad Run High School.
After learning this, the father of the first victim came forward and spoke to The Daily Wire, which published a report detailing both assaults. Parents descended on the two most recent Loudoun County School Board meetings, calling for Ziegler and the school board to “be held accountable” and accusing the district of “hiding evidence from every parent in LCPS about a heinous sexual assault of a student that occurred in a bathroom” so as not to derail the implementation of the transgender bathroom policy.
Subsequent reporting from news outlet WTOP revealed that Ziegler informed the school board of the sexual assault at Stone Bridge High School on the day it occurred. He sent an email to members of the board, telling them that “a female student alleged that a male student sexually assaulted her in the restroom.”
Ziegler did not, however, communicate this information to parents. Instead, Stone Bridge High School Principal Tim Flynn sent parents an email focusing on an altercation that took place between the sexual assault victim’s father and school officials without mentioning the sexual assault: “There was an incident in the main office area today that required the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office to dispatch deputies to Stone Bridge. The incident was confined to the main office and the entrance area to the school.”
During an appearance on Fox News’s “Life, Liberty and Levin” on Sunday, Virginia’s Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin expressed support for “a full investigation of the Loudoun County School Board, the Loudoun County School Superintendent and the commonwealth attorney there.” He cited the school board’s “gross negligence” as a justification for his demand that its members resign.
“It reached an escalated acute level when they in fact secretly moved … the young man who has … now been found to have sexually assaulted a young woman in a bathroom. And while he was being investigated and prosecuted, they moved him quietly into another school and hid it from parents and from the public,” Youngkin added.
Following backlash from parents, Ziegler apologized over the district’s handling of the sexual assaults, delivering a message to the victims’ families: “My heart aches for you and I am sorry that we failed to provide the safe, welcoming and affirming environment that we aspire to provide. We acknowledge and share in your pain and we will continue to offer support to help your families through this trauma.”
Last week, the perpetrator of the sexual assaults was charged with forced sodomy and forced fellatio in connection to the sexual assault at Stone Bridge High School. He is due back in court on Nov. 15 for a hearing related to the second sexual assault.
Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org