Parents are joining forces in Loudoun County, Virginia, demanding resignations from Superintendent Scott Ziegler and the school board over accusations from a sexual assault report, which took place in May. Loudoun County parents Dimis Christophy and Cheryl Onderchain discussed the outrage after an explosive school meeting and a walkout that dozens of students participated in earlier in the day over recent sexual assault reports.
“I’ve had kids in Loudoun County Public Schools for over 14 years. I’ve never seen any display of anger and outrage and just disappointment as what was evidenced in all the comments that were made towards the board last night. There were 120 folks signed up to speak in person,” Onderchain said.
An email surfaced last week indicating that Ziegler was aware of the sexual assault allegations and had alerted the school board about it a month before he claimed he did not have knowledge of the reported crime.
Ziegler sent the email to the entire school board on May 28, and on June 22, arguing that he did not have any knowledge of sexual assaults occurring in the school bathrooms. Despite his pushback, he eventually backpedaled the claim earlier this month, citing a “misinterpretation” when the question had been asked. He said he acknowledges how the procedure to address these incidents was not “adequate.”
Christophy, however, explained how this was an “ideology war” and that this has nothing to do with the curriculum anymore. “We are fighting an ideological war with these people and these people are sick,” he said.
The school board union has created such division in communication between superintendents and parents that they were even denied a request by the sheriff of Loudoun County for a standby SWAT team, riot control unit, and undercover officers at an August school board meeting.
Loudoun County Sheriff Michael Chapman said that it was “extraordinary” that Superintendent Scott Ziegler would request a K-9 unit explosive device sweep, an on-site task force, undercover officers in the public crowd, and the sheriff’s office’s civil defense unit and special operations team.
Chapman went on to say that the special operations team is the office’s “equivalent” of a SWAT team and that the request was “fairly substantial.” It would require at least 65 sworn deputies, adding how that Ziegler failed to provide any justification for such a “manpower-intensive request.”
The sheriff also criticized the school superintendent for trying to tell his office how to do their jobs. The district had already hired armed and unarmed security and subjected anyone who entered the building to being searched at the time.
Parents have fought back that until they can get the school board replaced and get a new superintendent, they’re not going to be able to heal and move forward as a community.