Parents suing Virginia school district after alleged sexual assault by ‘skirt wearing’ boy in girl’s bathroom

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LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The superintendent issued and apology and a school board member resigned Friday after a Virginia district faces a backlash over two alleged sexual assaults, one of which was reportedly carried out by a skirt-wearing male in the girl’s bathroom.

A Loudoun County family who says their daughter was sexually assaulted at a Loudoun County Public School announced they will be pursuing civil action against the school district under the provisions of Title IX.

Attorneys for the Smith family said their daughter was sexually assaulted in the girls’ restroom at Stone Bridge High School on May 28 by a boy claiming to be “gender fluid.” The Smith family has retained The Stanley Law Group of Virginia.

“The sexual assault our daughter endured should never happen to any young girl, or any child, attending a public school. But because of indifference and negligence by Loudoun County Public Schools and the Loudoun School Board, it did. And now, it has happened to another girl at another Loudoun County school at the hands of the very same assailant,” Mr. and Mrs. Smith said in a statement.

WJLA spoke with Scott Smith, the father planning on filing a lawsuit against the school district, who has been pushing the school board for answers for months. Back in June, Smith was arrested at a school board meeting. He said the student suspected of the attack was back in a Loudon County schools building before the court case involving the attack of his daughter was resolved.

According to a statement from the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, the reported sexual assault happened on May 28, 2021, at Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn, Virginia. A school resource officer was notified by a staff member of a possible sexual assault on the same day. Authorities said the suspect and victim were familiar with each other.

A thorough investigation was conducted over the course of several weeks by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Special Victims Unit, the sheriff’s office said.

A 14-year-old boy was then arrested in the case with two counts of forcible sodomy on July 8, 2021. He was turned over to the Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.

Another sexual assault incident happened on Oct. 6 at Broad Run High School. An arrest was immediate, the sheriff’s office said.

According to a release from the sheriff’s office, a 15-year-old male forced a female student into an empty classroom, held her against his will and touched her inappropriately. The boy was charged with sexual battery and abduction of a fellow student.

The most recent statements from the sheriff’s office and school district do not confirm if the incidents are connected. According to reporting from WJLA, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office has previously confirmed the same suspect was charged in both incidents.

Smith was arrested for obstruction of justice and disorderly conduct during a board meeting in June, at which the schools were discussing Critical Race Theory and a policy about which bathrooms transgender students should use. Smith was involved in a heated exchange with school board members. He later told police he was looking for answers for the incident involving his daughter.

“Basically, my daughter was sexually assaulted at the end of school in May last year. I went to the school board meeting to see what was going on because I had seen all this crazy stuff on TV and I went to see what was going on after my daughter had been assaulted and there was some crazy stuff being talked about,” he told FOX News’ Laura Ingrahm on Wednesday.

Smith allegedly became angry when a community activist told him she didn’t believe his daughter.

Loudoun County Public Schools superintendent Dr. Scott Ziegler responded Friday after parents were outraged with how the schools handled reports of two sexual assaults inside schools.

“First, let me say to the families and students involved — 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,” he said during a press conference. “We acknowledge and share in your pain and we will continue to offer support to help you and your families through this trauma. For all of our students, our school-based Unified Mental Health Teams are available to anyone who needs care.”

School board member Beth Barts resigned after Ziegler’s statement was released. “I have remained dedicated throughout my tenure to providing the best service to the community that I could. While I look forward to a return to a simpler life of volunteer service, I will miss my office hours and the conversations I had with so many of you in our community,” she wrote on Facebook.

A petition to remove Barts had collected 1,860 signatures, claiming “neglect of duty, misuse of office, and incompetence in the performance of her duties.”

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