The Loudoun County school board doubled down on Friday, insisting it will not publicly release the findings of an independent investigation into how the school district handled sexual assault allegations at two of its schools.
A 15-year-old student sexually assaulted a female student at Stone Bridge High School in May. Although the Loudoun County Sheriff stated that the school district was informed in July that the student was being held in connection to the attack, the district chose to transfer the suspect to another school where he is alleged to have sexually assaulted another student as early October.
A judge sentenced the teen under supervision to probation and ordered him to register as an sex offender. The Loudoun County Juvenile Court found that the student was “not innocent” of the charges of forcible sexual activity and forcible fellatio in connection to the May Stone Bridge High School incident. In connection to the October Broad Run High School incident, the student pleaded no contest to two charges of sexual battery and abduction.
After the October assault, Superintendent Scott Ziegler issued an apology to the families and students involved saying the district “failed to provide the safe, welcoming and affirming environment that we aspire to provide.”
School officials said they believed proper protocols were followed to report the allegations of sexual assaults but hired Blankingship & Keith PC to conduct a review of its response.
“The School Board will not publicly release the report provided by Blankingship & Keith, P.C. regarding how the Loudoun County Public Schools handled these incidents,” the board said in a statement on Friday.
“First and foremost, the report cannot be released because the privacy of the families involved must be protected,” the board claimed. The national interest in this investigation would prevent any chance for the families to heal privately and move on with dignity. The Division and our Board believe we must do whatever we can to avoid retraumatizing the students and the families involved in the incidents.”
The board added that the district is legally obligated to protect student confidentiality and that the decision relied upon the advice of legal counsel, which determined that the report falls under the p