The Loudoun County, Va., sheriff says he personally told the local school district superintendent about an alleged sexual assault that occurred in a school bathroom earlier this year though the district chief publicly denied knowing anything about the incident.
The revelations from Sheriff Michael Chapman are likely to fuel new calls from parents for Loudoun County Schools Superintendant Dr. Scott Ziegler to step down.
According to WJLA, Chapman and Ziegler have gone back and forth regarding the allegation for weeks, each exchanging strongly worded letters in which Ziegler claimed to be unaware, though the sheriff disagreed strongly.
“We are committed to providing our community with good, solid information as we work to provide all students with a safe learning environment,” Ziegler wrote in a letter to Chapman. “During the quarterly crime update to the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors on November 3, Col. Mark J. Poland of the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office suggested that your offices notified the Loudoun County Public Schools of charges in the Stone Bridge High School sexual assault case.”
Ziegler added in his letter to Sheriff Chapman, “LCPS cannot confirm that we have received the required notification of charges from the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office regarding this case.”
But Chapman countered by writing that Ziegler was “unmistakably aware of the offense.”
The sheriff further stated that Ziegler “personally reported” the offense to the school board on the same day it allegedly occurred.
“Nothing in your [Ziegler’s] letter addresses the following facts,” Chapman noted. “That you [Ziegler] knew of the alleged sexual offense the day it occurred. That despite a public statement at a School Board meeting on June 22, 2021, denying any knowledge of sexual assaults in any LCPS bathrooms, you sent an email on May 28, 2021, to members of the school board advising them of the incident – thus invalidating your public statement.”
The local news outlet continued:
Sheriff Chapman also said LCPS decided to place “this individual back into (another) high school population” despite knowing the “serious nature of the offense.”
Furthermore, Sheriff Chapman told Ziegler “the consequences of that decision resulted in a second student being victimized by the same defendant.”
Chapman not only denied the superintendent’s claim, but he also raised concerns about LCPS’s independent review.
“I noticed that you commissioned an ‘independent’ review, which I assume will be paid for by the LCPS using Loudoun County taxpayer dollars,” wrote Chapman. “You announced this a day after incoming Attorney General Jason Miyares stated publicly that he intends to investigate this incident.
“While I believe an independent review would be helpful, I have concerns of the legitimacy of such a review conducted at your direction. As the Attorney General is accountable to the citizens of Virginia, I feel an Attorney General review is the most objective way to move forward on this issue,” Chapman continued.
Chapman repeated his claims in an interview with the National Desk, confirming again that school district officials were aware of the incident on the same day it allegedly took place.
“The superintendent knew, on the day that that occurred, certainly of the incident, he knew when the individual had been charged, that had been information that had been relayed to him by juvenile intake,” he said.
“So it’s not like the school was flying blind here, they knew exactly what was going on throughout the entire circumstances of this case,” Chapman added.
Loudoun County has become ground zero for parents fighting back against so-called ‘woke’ cultural influences in the curriculum being taught to their children.
In particular, parents have attended often fiery school board meetings to demand controversial materials such as critical race theory and books containing inappropriate and sexually graphic content be removed from lesson plans and school libraries, respectively.
The issues are believed to have been a major factor in propelling Republicans to victory in Virginia elections earlier this month, especially Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin, who championed parents’ concerns while his Democratic opponent, Terry McAuliffe, infamously said during a debate that parents have no right to tell teachers what materials to present.