HomeRights, Justice, and Culture NewsVirginia Students Protest School District's Sexual Assault Inaction, Cover-Up

Virginia Students Protest School District’s Sexual Assault Inaction, Cover-Up

Students at Broad Ridge High School in Loudoun County, Virginia staged a walkout to protest the district’s handling of a rape in a school building and to demonstrate support for victims of sexual assault.

An alleged rapist was transferred from the school where the rape was reported to have occurred, to another school in the same district. The student was attending Stone Bridge High School in the Loudoun County School District at the time of the incident. After the rape was reported, the student was moved to Broad Ridge High School.

Demonstrations at three Louden County schools were led by students walking out of their classrooms, expressing their concerns for their own safety.

Students chanted, “Loudoun County protects rapists,” NBC Washington reporter Drew Wilder tweeted. Students shouted, “Why was a rapist allowed in our schools?” Wilder reported.

The teenaged, alleged assailant is standing trial on two separate cases involving two girls at two different high schools in the district. The Virginia court ruled there was enough evidence to warrant pursuit of both cases.

Students protested against the district’s handling of the sexual assaults and to express their desire for better safety measures in the schools.

Initially, the district denied the rape occurred at Stone Bridge High School. Instead of addressing the issue, administrators transferred the student. He was not expelled or even suspended.

The father of the first victim attempted to bring the attack to light at a school board meeting in June. He was arrested for disorderly conduct.

As a result of the district’s actions, the alleged rapist was introduced to a new high school where he soon allegedly engaged in another sexual assault.

The Loudon County School board recently passed a gender-inclusivity policy. This policy, like others around the country, allows biological boys to use the restrooms and locker rooms of biological girls if the boys declare their gender identity to be other than male. The accused rapist identified as “gender-fluid” and was wearing a skirt at the time of the attack at Stone Bridge High School.

Both these attacks were known to the school board in October when it passed the gender-inclusivity policy ensuring biological males’ ongoing access to the girls’ bathrooms.

Board members initially stated they were not aware of the attack, but the investigation revealed Superintendent Scott Ziegler had informed the board on May 28 that a 9th grade girl had been raped by a boy in the girls’ bathroom.

“Loudoun County’s school board needs to be sued,” writes blogger Bonchi for RedState. “They covered up the sexual assault of a minor and then had the police arrest her father for simply trying to speak out. That’s terrible, and it’s not the kind of thing that should be left to lie.”

“Good for the students for standing up for themselves,” writes Nick Arama, also for RedState.  “This never should have happened, and it wouldn’t have if the district had just been honest with the students and with the public. But the LCPS was more concerned about covering up and politics than being truthful and stopping a rapist.”

Eileen Griffin
Eileen Griffin
Eileen Griffin writes from Richland, Washington.

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