After a Virginia juvenile court judge concluded Tuesday that a transgender teenager sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl at a Loudoun County high school, students orchestrated walk-outs to protest the district and demand better safety measures.
In the court decision Tuesday, Chief Judge Pamela L. Brooks found sufficient evidence that a gender fluid individual committed sexual assault at Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn, Va., in May 2021.
In an interview with the Daily Wire, the victim’s father said the male student forcibly sodomized his ninth-grade daughter in a school bathroom while wearing a skirt.
When the father attempted to share his child’s story at a local school-board meeting in June a month later, he was arrested for disorderly conduct, allowing the sexual abuse to stay underground for months. The perpetrator was then transferred to Broad Run High School in Ashburn where he engaged in sexual misconduct with another female student in early October.
On Tuesday, students walked out of Broad Run High School, where the attacker was relocated and is still technically enrolled. The teenage defendant will receive sentencing after the second set of charges dealing with the Broad Run accusations are adjudicated, the judge said Tuesday.
Outside the school, a group of students chanted “Loudoun County protects rapists,” Drew Wilder of NBC Washington reported. “Why was a rapist allowed in our school?” another student shouted. “This isn’t a political issue, this is a human issue. Listen to the students,” a third student exclaimed.
Here is the walk out of students at @LCPSOfficial Broad Run High School in Loudoun County. Students in support of recent sex assault victims in the District including this school & asking for safer schools. @7NewsDC #7NewsITeam #Loudoun pic.twitter.com/CdZjqTBIdK
— Scott Taylor 7 News I-Team (@ScottTaylorTV) October 26, 2021
A similar student-organized demonstration took place in front of Riverside High School in Leesburg, Va., Tuesday morning, according to video footage obtained by Drew Wilder.
After the incident resurfaced through the report, Loudoun County Public Schools released a statement in mid October clarifying its procedure and protocol for incidents of sexual assault that occur on its campuses. The district said that it was obliged to defer the initial criminal investigation to local law enforcement before conducting its own probe and to follow the Title IX grievance process before disciplining the accused student. Despite resettling the offender at another high school down the road instead of suspending him, LCPS said it would “impose interim measures to protect the safety of students involved in the original incident, deter retaliation . . .”
After the episodes of sexual assault happened, Loudoun County School Board passed a sweeping gender-inclusivity policy allowing students to use restrooms and locker rooms, as well as compete in sports, according to their gender identity rather than biological sex. In its statement, however, LCPS claims that school-board members “were not aware of specific details of the incident” until October. However, Loudoun superintendent Scott Ziegler emailed the board on May 28 informing them that an alleged sexual assault had taken place in a school bathroom, according to WTOP.
On Monday, the principal of Broad Run, David Spage, sent an email presumably to faculty, administrators, and staff in anticipation of the walk-out.
“First, the top priority of Loudoun County Public Schools is the safety and security of students and staff. Keeping this in mind, Broad Run High School will provide a designated, safe space for students to exercise their freedom of expression,” Spage wrote.
“With freedom comes responsibility. Broad Run High School will provide a supervised environment for this protest. Students who choose to participate will not be penalized for their participation,” he added.