Loudoun Co. school board faces angry parents, grand jury’s recommendations

The Loudoun County School Board in Northern Virginia held its first meeting Tuesday in response to a grand jury’s recommendations regarding how the school system handled two sexual assaults committed by the same student last year.

“The goal here is to try to make sure that this type of incident does not happen again,” said Robert Falconi, an attorney for the school system.

Falconi continued by saying that the incident was “traumatizing to the community and particularly to the families involved.”

Among other items, board members began looking into how they could increase transparency surrounding security incidents on campuses, and how students could more safely be transferred between schools due to disciplinary issues.

No recommendations were approved Tuesday, as board members were just starting their discussion on the matter.

“Broadly, we’re recommending policy changes, staff and teacher trainings and other operational actions and decisions,” Falconi said. “We’re going to move on to these recommendations, and that’s where the process begins, but it sure isn’t going to end there.”

Board members faced angry testimony from parents, including from the mother and father of one of the assault victims.

“From the very beginning, we were determined as parents to not let the Loudoun County school system sweep what happened to our daughter and another parent’s daughter under the rug,” said the victim’s mother.

WTOP is not naming the parents in order to avoid identifying their daughter — a minor who was a victim of sexual assault.

“You guys all need to resign now,” the victim’s father said. “No truth is coming out of this board whatsoever.”

The board meeting happened the same day that former superintendent Scott Ziegler and school system spokesman Wade Byard had their first court appearance after being indicted by the grand jury.

Ziegler was indicted on three misdemeanor counts — false publication, prohibited conduct and penalizing an employee for a court appearance — while Byard was indicted on one felony perjury count.

The teenager who was found guilty of assaulting the students at Stone Bridge and Broad Run high schools is in a juvenile treatment facility, where he was ordered to stay until his 18th birthday.

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up