Why the public won’t get to see how Loudoun Co. schools handled investigation into 2 sexual assaults by same student

Loudoun County Public Schools said it will turn over a report on how it handled two in-school sexual assaults by the same student in 2021 to prosecutors, but the Virginia school system doesn’t intend to make it public.

In a statement Wednesday, the school system said it doesn’t plan to appeal a Circuit Court judge’s ruling last week that the report be shared with prosecutors within seven days. That’s “because the B&K Report will remain confidential and can only be seen by the individuals involved” in former Superintendent Scott Ziegler’s case, the statement said.

Law firm Blankingship & Keith put together the report.

“Board members also believe it is better for the Loudoun County community if it does not contest this matter further,” the statement said.

A majority of the school board disagreed with last week’s ruling.

In April 2022, the school system said a different Loudoun County Circuit Court judge ruled that the report into how the assaults were handled was bound by attorney-client privilege. The school board has cited that privilege when asked to share the report with the public.

Shortly after it shared Wednesday’s statement, Loudoun County Public Schools denied a WTOP Freedom of Information Act request to see the report, saying it contains personnel and student records and violates attorney-client privilege.

There’s a pending Freedom of Information Act petition that will be heard in August, but the school system said “a majority of the Board believes it is still appropriate to continue to assert attorney-client privilege and attorney work product exemptions in response to FOIA requests.”

A spokeswoman for Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares said he didn’t have a comment on the matter.

After last week’s ruling, Ziegler said he supported the release of the internal investigation. Ziegler was ultimately fired for how the school system handled the sexual assaults.

Last week, Loudoun County announced it hired Aaron Spence, currently Virginia Beach’s superintendent, to lead the school system.

WTOP’s Neal Augenstein contributed to this report.

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Scott Gelman

Scott Gelman is a digital editor and writer for WTOP. A South Florida native, Scott graduated from the University of Maryland in 2019. During his time in College Park, he worked for The Diamondback, the school’s student newspaper.

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