(LifeSiteNews) — The Loudoun County School Board (LCSB) voted earlier this week not to release the findings of an internal investigation of two sexual assaults committed by a gender-confused teenage boy.
In 2021, the school district gained national attention for its handling of a 15-year-old high school boy raping a female classmate in the bathroom. The boy wasn’t kept out of the girls’ restroom due to a controversial policy allowing gender-confused kids to use facilities designated for the opposite sex.
Several months later, the same boy had been transferred to another school in the district and assaulted a second girl. LCSB received tremendous backlash from the public for failing to protect students, sparking formal investigations.
“Discussion provided the opportunity for members to share why or why not the report should be released, with a shared interest in acting in the best interests of Loudoun County Public Schools students,” a February 14 press release stated. “The motion to release the report failed with a vote of 3-6.”
The statement went on to explain that the board “cited a number of reasons why the report should not be released publicly.” Motivation to keep the findings private include the fact that “the report was commissioned in anticipation of litigation involving LCPS and the School Board and contains attorney work product and attorney-client privileged communications that are central to those matters.”
“Additionally, the report contains personally identifiable information regarding students. While this information has been reported publicly, much of that information is nonetheless protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). FERPA is the federal law that protects the privacy of students and their educational records.”
Ian Serotkin, the school board chair, stated that “if I could disentangle the release of the report” from the complicated legal ties, “I would. But we cannot.”
“While the School Board has voted not to release the Blankinship & Keith Report,” acting superintendent Daniel Smith said, “LCPS will remain focused on continuing to make improvements wherever we can and working toward our goal of empowering each student to maximize their potential and make meaningful contributions to the world.”
Investigations were launched into LCSB’s controversial handling of the sexual assaults after a Daily Wire journalist published an investigative report publicizing the connection between the two attacks. The article also sparked accusations that the board could have prevented the second assault from taking place.
In January 2022, Virginia’s newly inaugurated Republican Attorney General Jason Miyares launched an investigation into LCPS to determine whether the district covered up the rape committed by the gender-confused student. Miyares condemned the district’s handling of the situation, saying school officials “covered up a sexual assault on school grounds for political gain, leading to an additional assault of a young girl.”
The following July, a judge denied the district’s attempt to impose an injunction and stop Miyares’ investigation.
After the release of a grand jury report — which fell under the attorney general’s scrutiny — LCPS superintendent Scott Ziegler was fired “immediately and without cause.” The report detailed that Ziegler had, at one point during the saga, denied that the first rape had occurred. Additionally, the grand jury determined that school officials failed “to be transparent and step in,” enabling the second assault to take place.
The following week, LifeSiteNews reported that two officials were indicted for their handling of the scandal, allegedly to avoid poor reflection of the district’s pro-LGBT policies. Ziegler faces a misdemeanor false publication, misdemeanor prohibited conduct, and misdemeanor penalizing an employee for a court appearance, which may result in one year of jail time. Additionally, the grand jury returned charges against LCPS public information officer Wayde Byard, who faces up to 10 years in prison for a felony perjury charge.