(Tyler Arnold, The Center Square) – Va. Attorney General Jason Miyares can continue his investigation into how the Loudoun County School Board handled a sexual assault last year, the Va. Supreme Court ruled.
Earlier this year, Miyares commissioned a special grand jury to investigate whether school board members and school administrators intentionally lied and withheld information from parents about a sexual assault.
Superintendent Scott Ziegler informed the school board about an assault that occurred in a school bathroom. However, less than a month later, he said in a public hearing there were no records of assaults in school bathrooms. No one on the board corrected him.
The Loudoun County School Board filed a lawsuit to halt the investigation, which claimed the attorney general did not have the authority to launch the investigation and that an investigation would cause irreparable harm.
The board claimed an investigation would impede its constitutional obligations and could lead to overreach.
The Va. Supreme Court rejected those arguments.
“The special grand jury is not hiring and firing teachers, spending money allocated for the schools, deciding where schools should be built, and so on, i.e. nothing the grand jury is doing restricts the School Board’s core constitutional power of supervision over the schools in Loudoun County,” the court ruled.
“At this point, there does not appear to be any actual harm, much less irreparable harm. Furthermore, persons subject to improper subpoenas can move to quash those subpoenas. Therefore, there are remedies at law were the grand jury to overreach.”
Miyares said in a statement the court’s ruling is a win for Loudoun County families.
“As Attorney General, I made a promise to Virginians to investigate what happened last year in Loudoun County. In July, I defeated the Loudoun County School Board’s attempt to block the investigation in the trial court,” Miyares said.
“Today, the Supreme Court of [Va.] affirmed that victory. We are pleased with the court’s ruling and ready to move forward. This is yet another win for both Loudoun families and the Commonwealth in our fight for justice and answers.”
In response to the ruling, the school system expressed its intent to comply with the investigation.
“Loudoun County Public Schools appreciates the Supreme Court’s consideration of the unusual circumstances regarding this special grand jury,” the statement read.
“While LCPS is disappointed in the results, it will continue to comply with the Special Grand Jury’s requests and awaits the results of its investigation.”
Zeigler’s denial of the assault came during debates about a proposed transgender bathroom policy in the school division.
Some accused the school division of intentionally hiding information about the assault to advance its agenda because the perpetrator was a male student wearing a skirt in the girls’ bathroom.