Loudoun County School District is in turmoil over a decision made by the school board to keep a student accused of sexual assault in class, which directly resulted in the assault of a second student.

Back in May 2021, a 14-year-old student was accused of sexually assaulting a female classmate. The victim testified that while she’d had several consensual sexual encounters with the same person, on the occasion of May 28, 2021, the person knew she didn’t want to, pinned her down, and violently assaulted her in a school restroom.

While the case was under investigation, the alleged attacker was transferred from Stone Bridge High, where the attack occurred, to Broad Run High, another school in the Loudoun County Public School District. While at Broad Run High, the student allegedly assaulted another student in a similar manner on October 6, 2021.

On October 25, 2021, a juvenile court judge ruled that the student was guilty of the sexual assault at Stone Bridge. Sentencing hasn’t happened yet, pending a court hearing in November for the second assault. But students at both schools are incensed that the second assault was allowed to happen.

On the morning of October 26, 2021, a walkout was organized at three high schools in the school district: Broad Run, Stone Bridge, and nearby Riverside High School.

It isn’t the first unrest around the matter. Back in June, parents, including the parents of the first victim, disrupted a Loudoun County School Board meeting, resulting in the brief arrest of the victim’s father. The conflict erupted during a discussion of transgender and genderfluid students rights, in which the superintendent falsely claimed the school district had no record of any assault happening in a school restroom.

The district claims that Superintendent Scott Ziegler made that statement to protect the identity of the first victim.

The October 26 student walkout was much less dramatic – a 10-minute rally. A flyer distributed on Monday by parents asked students to wear white in solidarity with sexual assault victims. Another rally is expected for Tuesday night, with parent groups meeting at another school board meeting.

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