First it “dropped the ball” in two sexual assaults of girls by a transgender student. Now the Loudoun County school board has dropped the hammer – on the superintendent who presided over it all.
Scott Ziegler was finally fired Tuesday night, a year-and-a-half after he and the Virginia school district he oversaw failed the girls and the community “at every juncture,” a special grand jury reports. It says Ziegler and others brazenly lied in denying a distraught father’s claim that his daughter had been raped last year in a school bathroom by a biological male in a skirt.
“LCPS administrators were looking out for their own interests instead of the best interests of LCPS,” the report concluded. “This invariably led to a stunning lack of openness, transparency, and accountability both to the public and the special grand jury.”
When the father came to the board in June 2021 about the May assault, Ziegler went so far as to claim “the predator transgender student or person simply does not exist,” and “we don’t have any record of assaults occurring in our restrooms.” But emails prove Ziegler and others did, in fact, know about the assault at the time the father made it public.
Aided by the district’s silence and complicity, the offender went on to commit a second sexual assault at another school he had been transferred to. He was sentenced by a juvenile judge in January to supervised probation until his 18th birthday and was sent to a residential treatment facility.
The father’s hostile treatment by the board last year helped spark a historic revolt in Loudoun County that quickly germinated into a national parents’ rights movement and a rebellion against imperious public school bureaucracies.
Yet it still took the grand jury’s scathing report Monday – after its inquiry made possible by an executive order from newly elected Gov. Glenn Youngkin – before the board fired the superintendent on Tuesday.
The district even stonewalled the grand jury in its investigation.
“We expected these public servants to provide clarity, transparency, and a willingness to report truthfully to their constituents. Instead, we were met with obfuscation, deflection, and obvious legal strategies designed to frustrate the special grand jury’s work,” the report reads.
Not only did the district deny the father’s allegations, but it had failed to notify parents and the public after the first assault.
“LCPS dropped the ball in this instance in alerting the community about this incident.”
Emails included in the grand jury report reveal that officials had, in private at least, expressly tied the first assault to the district’s policy allowing students to use bathrooms corresponding to their gender identity. The first victim’s father has argued the district denied his daughter’s rape happened in order to protect that policy.