When the phone rang, it was every father's worst nightmare. Come to campus, a school official said, your daughter has been assaulted. No one told Scott Smith that she had been sexually assaulted — that a boy wearing a skirt had walked into the girls' restroom and raped his 15-year-old child. Then, imagine your anger as a parent to find out that the school wasn't going to involve the police — that they'd decided to handle the matter (which ended up being two counts of forcible sodomy, one count of anal sodomy, and one count of forcible fellatio) "internally."
For Scott Smith, it was unimaginable. Standing in the Stone Bridge High School office, blind with rage, he demanded they call the police. They finally did — on him. "I went nuts," he remembers. " ... Six cop cars showed up like a ... SWAT team." Later that night, after a hospital rape kit confirmed what his daughter had insisted all along, the school's principal sent out an email explaining the incident with Scott — never mentioning what had happened to his daughter and where. Even when the attacker was formally charged, administrators kept quiet.
A month later, at a local school board meeting, Smith — like a lot of parents — sat in shock as the new superintendent responded to the fury over Loudoun County's radical transgender policies by insisting that nothing harmful had ever come of them. "To my knowledge," Scott Ziegler said, "we don't have any record of assaults occurring in our restrooms. It's important to keep our perspective on this," he went on. "We've heard it several times tonight from our public speakers, but the predator transgender student or person simply does not exist." Smith was irate and tried to debate the point but was hauled out of the meeting by officers and charged with disorderly conduct. "I don't care if he's homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual, transsexual. He's a sexual predator," he argued.
Afterward, Smith and his family tried to stay out of the public eye. That proved impossible last week when another bombshell dropped. Not only did the "predator transgender student" exist, he went on to attack again — this time at another school. Two and a half miles from the place where his daughter had been held and violated, a different girl was brutally victimized. "If someone would have sat and listened for 30 seconds to what Scott had to say," the family attorney said, it could have been prevented. Instead, Loudoun County, whose extreme policies made the abuse possible, tried to cover up the rape — leaving thousands of daughters vulnerable to boys just like this one.
Scott Smith says it's the most helpless he's ever felt. "It has been so hard to keep my mouth shut and wait this out. It has been the most powerless thing I've ever been through," he admitted. Other parents, aghast at the district's negligence, have turned out in mass to blast the county leadership. "I'd rather save one girl from sexual assault than be politically correct," one woman insisted.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration — sensing the national uprising is only growing — has decided to try to drive parents like Scott underground. Desperate to contain the uproar in local districts, the DOJ (egged on or in concert with the National School Board Association) is threatening to treat outspoken citizens like "domestic terrorists," citing the arrest of Scott Smith for speaking out against the assault of his daughter as an example in their six-page letter.
Outraged, 60 members of Congress pushed back, demanding an explanation from Attorney General Merrick Garland for how it could possibly be legal to treat concerned parents as criminals for exercising their constitutional rights. "While some of these meetings may get heated, most of the parents who have been attending these meetings have simply voiced their passions and concerns for their children and their futures," they wrote. "While we agree with you that any threat of violence against these government officials should be condemned and investigated, no government official has the right to claim that a citizen may not speak out against government policies." And yet, the NSBA in a letter to Garland, claims to oppose the president's wildly dangerous transgender agenda is tantamount to a public "hate crime."
Politically diverse states like Louisiana and Virginia were horrified and publicly denounced the organization for "discouraging active participation in the governance process." Separately, both chapters said they weren't consulted about the letter to the DOJ and went out of their way to say the National School Board Association did not speak for them. Others have told news outlets that they're even reconsidering their alignment with the national association. The debates taking place may be challenging, they agree, but they're also necessary.
On what authority, Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.) asked, is the federal government even intervening in the first place? They don't have supervision over local school boards — and yet, the "Department of Justice is [going] into the local school districts to basically intimidate parents from getting involved in what their children are going to be taught? It's very disturbing and troubling to me." As it is to all parents, who are starting to see Washington's heavy-handed education policy infused in their districts from the top down. When did it become the FBI's job to investigate parents for speaking up at local board meetings, they want to know? It didn't. This is just a desperate move by the Left to intimidate parents into silence so they can continue the indoctrination of children.
"From where I sit," Rosendale said on Monday's "Washington Watch," "what this looks like is just another tactic of the Biden administration to completely silence those who might question what they're trying to do. And I don't think that there is a more important obligation for parents than to make sure that they are involved in how their children are being educated and what they're being taught."
So what can people do? Well, for starters, you can get your local school board on the record about whether they agree with the National School Board Association's claims. (FRC Action even has a sample letter you can use.) Then, ask whether your state or community is a member of the NSBA. Is your district paying dues to the National School Board Association? Because if you are, you're facilitating this type of attack on parents.
Maybe you don't have children in public schools, so you think this call to action doesn't apply to you. But let's face it: every one of us is a taxpayer, and organizations as radical as the NSBA shouldn't have the ability to fight parents using our own dollars. Beyond that, this is an opportunity to hold the people we elected to represent us accountable. These school boards don't just serve the families who have kids in school — they serve the entire community. So every one of us can — and should — show up to these meetings and demand the truth about what's happening behind classroom doors.
Because, as Scott Smith will tell you, it might not spare his daughter — but it could spare someone else's.
Originally published at the Family Research Council.
Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council.