(LifeSiteNews) — Days after a special grand jury released a report finding that Virginia school officials “failed at every juncture” in response to a “transgender” rape scandal, the Loudoun County School Board (LCSB) unanimously voted to fire the district’s superintendent.
At one point Superintendent Scott Ziegler denied that sexual assaults had ever taken place in any Loudoun County school.
Ziegler was fired on Tuesday “immediately and without cause.” The vote was unanimous and was made with no input from the public. The decision followed a “two-hour closed session to discuss the special grand jury’s report on Loudoun County Public Schools [LCPS] administration’s handling of two sexual assaults by the same student,” according to a local news report.
The disgraced superintendent was not present at the meeting, which was held in private in accordance with state laws that allow closed-door discussions in relation to “specific public employees.” Loudoun Now also reported that a county Board of Supervisors meeting took place on Tuesday evening as well, where members “expressed outrage” over the recently released document about the rape scandal.
Last night, the LCSB replaced Ziegler with Dr. Daniel Smith as the interim superintendent, who previously served as the Chief of Staff. A permanent superintendent for the district is expected to be found by spring 2023.
“During his brief tenure with LCPS, Dr. Smith has earned the School Board’s trust in what has been a very difficult time for the school division,” board chair Jeff Morse said in a statement. “His familiarity with the school division will ease a time of transition.”
According to a LCPS press release following the board’s special meeting on Thursday, the decision to appoint Smith “took into account” that he was “not involved with the incidents that led to the creation of the Special Grand Jury that released its report Monday.”
“Dr. Smith’s appointment represents the end to what has been a very difficult two years for the community,” Morse added. “It is a first step toward restoring community trust in the school division, including the transparency our community deserves.”
As outlined in the report, the scandal began in May 2021 when a ninth-grade girl was raped in a bathroom stall by a male classmate wearing a skirt. The county had recently adopted a “transgender” bathroom policy which allowed students to use segregated facilities which aligned with their so-called “gender identity.” Following a lack of communication during the boy’s transfer to another school, the assailant raped a second girl. It was not until a few days later that the public—and most school staff—learned that the boy had a history of violence against his female classmates.
The grand jury was appointed by Virginia attorney general Jason Miyares in April as part of the state’s investigation. In their report, published earlier this week, the group found that “LCPS [Loudoun County Public Schools] administrators were looking out for their own interests instead of the best interests of LCPS.” The grand jury declared that despite opportunities “to be transparent and step in,” school officials, including the superintendent, did not act in ways that would have prevented the second assault from occurring.
While Ziegler failed to provide crucial and clear information to both school officials and the public, he also told the school board that “to my knowledge we don’t have any record of assaults occurring in our restrooms.” This statement was made after the first rape and before the second had taken place.
Ziegler’s removal as superintendent comes more than a year after the assaults occurred and follows a list of actions which the school board announced shortly after Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed an executive order allowing Miyares to investigate the situation.
“The Loudoun County School Board [LCSB] is committed to creating a safe, affirming and welcoming environment by implementing improved processes to protect every student,” the LCSB announced in a January statement. They added that the board “has taken action, and will continue to take action, responsive to the concerns raised by the sexual assaults in LCPS in order to further protect our students from sexual assault.”
The statement includes a list of actions that had already been taken to address the issue, which consisted of appointing a new Interim Title IX Coordinator, increasing “appropriate personnel actions,” implementing “a more robust process for alternative school placements to better serve students who may pose a safety risk to themselves or others,” and requiring additional training for school officials on “timely reporting of disciplinary data to the Virginia Department of Education.”
Additionally, the statement outlines steps they planned to take in the future, including reviewing and updating the system through which schools work with local law enforcement on investigations, “expand[ing] the size and scope of the Title IX office,” completing a “senior administration-level review of every potential harassment and discrimination complaint made over the past 12 months” and responding as necessary, and requiring more training for school staff to “reinforce the understanding of their obligations” with responding and reporting sexual assault.
As announced along with the decision to investigate the issue, the LCSB never released its internal review to the public.
In recent months, school boards across the country have faced backlash from parents who demand an end to the indoctrination of children with the LGBT agenda, resulting in many local victories. Virginia enacted policies requiring parental knowledge and consent for their children to be exposed to sexually explicit content in schools.
In Arizona, a conservative Republican was elected as Superintendent of Public Instruction, defeating his predecessor, who had implemented pro-LGBT sex education policies. New DeSantis-backed school board members in Florida have already begun removing school officials who were promoting woke ideologies.