LOUDOUN COUNTY, Virginia (LifeSiteNews) — The former superintendent of Loudoun County Public Schools was found guilty of a misdemeanor this week for firing a teacher who told a grand jury about the district’s coverup of sexual abuse. The conviction is related to but separate from the school’s coverup of a rape by a cross-dressing boy.
The Daily Wire – whose exclusive October 2021 reporting on Loudoun County Public Schools’ (LCPS) coverup of the rape of a teen girl by a skirt-wearing boy in a school bathroom sparked criminal charges, inspired policies to protect girls, and helped propel Republican Glenn Youngkin to the Virginia governor’s mansion – reported Friday that former LCPS superintendent Scott Ziegler was found guilty of “using his official position to retaliate against someone for exercising their rights.”
Ziegler, who didn’t testify but appeared in court wearing nail polish and earrings (as he did in his earlier trial in April) was simultaneously acquitted by the seven-member jury of a separate misdemeanor charge of punishing someone for submitting testimony to a jury.
The Thursday conviction stems from Ziegler’s decision to fire former special education teacher Erin Brooks after she spoke with the grand jury impaneled by Republican Attorney General Jason Miyares to investigate the bathroom rape coverup. In her remarks, she also mentioned “an unrelated instance of mishandling of sexual assault by school administrators,” The Daily Wire reported.
The “unrelated” issue had to do with an intellectually disabled student who allegedly sexually assaulted Brooks and her teaching assistant, Laurie Vandermeulen, “dozens of times a day” by inappropriately touching them and making obscene gestures. According to the report, Brooks and Vandermeulen reached out to administrators for help and were advised to deal with the situation by shielding themselves with pieces of cardboard or “dog groomer aprons” to stave off the student’s physical assaults.
Though the student was removed from Brooks’ class after Vandermeulen asked for experiences to be anonymously shared during a school board meeting, the special education teacher reportedly “became the target of ruthless animus from school administrators,” culminating in being given a negative performance review and promptly fired.
On Thursday, the jury agreed that Ziegler had violated the law by firing Brooks for telling the grand jury about the situation.
Ziegler, who was himself indicted on separate charges and fired last year after a grand jury submitted its findings concerning LCPS’ handling of the transgender rape coverup, now faces up to a year in jail and/or $2,500 in fines for the Thursday conviction.
He is slated to face sentencing in January.
The Washington Examiner pointed out that Ziegler’s conviction follows hard on the heels of Gov. Youngkin’s decision to pardon the father of the girl raped in the LCPS bathroom after he was convicted of “disorderly conduct” for expressing his outrage in a 2021 school board meeting.
The father, Scott Smith, was hit with “two criminal charges after an incident got out of hand with Loudoun County Sheriff deputies at the board of education meeting,” ABC7 reported.
In a statement earlier this month announcing his pardon of Smith, Youngkin said the Virginia dad “is a dedicated parent who’s faced unwarranted charges in his pursuit to protect his daughter,” LifeSiteNews reported.
“Scott’s commitment to his child despite the immense obstacles is emblematic of the parental empowerment movement that started in Virginia,” the governor said.
Scott expressed gratitude for the pardon in comments to ABC7.
“I really appreciate what he has done because when he campaigned, he made it very clear that if he was elected he would do what he could to get to the bottom of what happened to not just my family but everything that was going on in Loudoun County,” he said.