Va. college board accused of covering up assault could get booted

Virginia’s Loudoun County School Board, which was accused of masking up the sexual assault of a superior university girl past yr, could be voted out of place of work en masse in November if Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin gets his way.

According to a invoice modification backed by Youngkin, all 9 board members would be up for re-election this 12 months, 12 months earlier than earlier scheduled, according to ABC7. 

Next that election, 5 members would be up for re-election two decades down the line while the other four would not facial area the voters yet again until eventually 2026.

The proposal will require to be accepted by Virginia’s legislature to go into outcome. 

Youngkin’s amendment follows his working day-just one purchase for the commonwealth’s legal professional normal to investigate likely wrongdoing by board users and the college district regarding the sexual assaults. 

The assaults manufactured nationwide information immediately after Virginia dad or mum Scott Smith was arrested for the duration of a June 22 faculty district meeting as he confronted officers over an attack on his daughter in a toilet at Stone Bridge Superior University in Ashburn on Could 28. Smith claimed at the conference that his daughter had been accosted by a “boy in a skirt.”

A 15-yr-previous boy was later on billed in that assault as nicely as an Oct. 6 assault at close by Broad Run Large University. He was later identified guilty in the two assaults and sentenced to supervised probation in a household treatment facility right up until the age of 18.

Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin supports a invoice that would place all nine board associates up for re-election this 12 months, 12 months before than earlier scheduled.
AP/Steve Helber

In the June assembly, Loudoun County Superintendent Scott Ziegler denied there were any information of incidents in any faculty restrooms and reportedly said that “the predator transgender university student or individual only does not exist.”

However, e-mail resurfaced that slide that indicated Ziegler notified other board members of the Might 28 attack on the day it occurred.

The superintendent afterwards apologized for his remarks, stating, “I regret that my remarks were misleading and I apologize for the distress that mistake brought on households. I will do greater in the foreseeable future,” according to radio station WTOP.

A lot of known as on the board and Ziegler to resign, but as of mid-Oct, only one particular member had stepped down. 

Youngkin, then campaigning for governor, called for an investigation into the general public schools in Loudoun County, declaring the district “had a responsibility of care and they failed.”

On Tuesday, Loudoun County college board member Andrew Hoyler came out towards Youngkin’s proposal.

“We have authorized processes in position to get rid of elected officers for a number of motives,” he claimed in a assertion. “These strategies are completed via the judicial technique, not the govt and legislative branches, and I do not support any attempt to circumnavigate the processes that are currently present.” 

The 2020-2023 School Board, from left, Jeff Morse, Beth Barts, Ian Serotkin, Atoosa Reaser, Denise Corbo, John Beatty Leslee King Harris Mahedavi and Brenda Sheridan.
The board involves (from still left) Jeff Morse, Beth Barts, Ian Serotkin, Atoosa Reaser, Denise Corbo, John Beatty, Leslee King, Harris Mahedavi and Brenda Sheridan.
Loudoun County General public Faculties

Hoyler — who was one particular of just two board users up for re-election this yr — pointed out that whilst his views vary from several of his fellow board users, that does “not blind me to the actuality that every single of them are sitting on the dais simply because the voters of Loudoun set them there.” 

“My colleagues received a honest election in 2019, allowing them to serve a entire four-calendar year time period,” he emphasised. 

Democratic Loudoun County Delegate David Ried also blasted the amendment, calling it an “attempt by some Republicans to subvert our democracy and maintain it hostage to a right-wing minority.”

Elicia Brand leads a crowd of angry parents and community members in the singing of the Star Spangled Banner after a Loudoun County School Board meeting was halted by the school board because the crowd refused to quiet down, in Ashburn.
Virginia’s Loudoun County Faculty Board was accused of covering up the sexual assault of a substantial university female final calendar year.
REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

“The members of the Loudoun County School Board had been elected to provide 4-yr phrases and they must be authorized to serve the complete period of their phrases — that’s why we have scheduled elections,” he claimed in a assertion. “By adding this unnecessary modification to a easy administrative bill, which was requested by the Loudoun Board of Elections, Governor Youngkin is opening the door for any potential the greater part and governor to undermine neighborhood elections and neighborhood management.” 

The Virginia legislature will reconvene on April 27 to talk about vetoes of amendments put forward by the governor.