(Headline USA) Loudoun County Superintendent Scott Ziegler was fired by the school board this week after an explosive grand jury report found that he mishandled and covered up two sexual assaults committed by the same student.
The Northern Virginia county drew national attention last year after it was reported that a male student wearing a skirt attacked a female student in the girls’ restroom only to be transferred to a different school in the same district, where he went on to attack another young girl.
The father of the first victim tried to speak out at a Loudoun County school board meeting and warn the district not to move forward with a transgender policy that would allow biological boys to use the girls’ restroom, but was arrested and hauled out of the meeting.
The grand jury investigating the assaults and the county’s handling of them found in its report that district officials looked out for their own interests, and that the school system “failed at every juncture.”
Loudoun County Public Schools displayed a “stunning lack of openness, transparency and accountability, both to the public and to the special grand jury” about its response to the sexual assaults, the report said.
The grand jury specifically called out Zielger for denying at a June 2021 school board meeting that he had any knowledge of the first assault, when a May 2021 email he sent to other school board members confirmed that he did, in fact, know about the assault.
The second assault “could have and should have been prevented,” the grand jury argued.
“A remarkable lack of curiosity and adherence to operating in silos by LCPS administrators is ultimately to blame for the October 6 incident,” the report said, adding that Loudoun County Public Schools and Ziegler “bear the brunt of the blame.”
“Let me say this as clearly as possible: Dr. Ziegler needs to be fired,” Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Phyllis Randall said in a statement on Tuesday.
“We had a young woman who was violently raped and another one assaulted,” she continued. “Why we are even dancing around this is beyond me. We are leaders in the county. At some point, leaders lead. … I am saying to my colleagues on the school board to fire the superintendent.”
The grand jury report also revealed that LCPS officials were privately concerned about how the first assault would affect their transgender bathroom policy.