On Thursday, the family of a 15-year-old girl who was sexually assaulted on May 28 at Stone Bridge High School filed legal action against the Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS). The student was allegedly raped "by a boy claiming to be 'gender fluid," according to the news release from attorney William M. Stanley Jr., Esq. of The Stanley Law Group, PLLC.
The father, Scott Smith, was arrested but later released by law enforcement during a contentious school board meeting in Loudoun County on June 22. Smith had attended the board meeting to hear the board's consideration to formalize Policy 8040, a policy that would, among other things, permit transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms of their choosing.
Per UncoverDC's story in August:
"Policy 8040 would give LCPS leeway to incorporate expanded pronouns for students—expanded access to facilities and sports—according to gender identity and added training for staff and faculties related to gender identity issues."
Smith attended the meeting because of his daughter's experience. Reportedly, Smith neither spoke during the meeting nor did he have any intention of speaking. Unfortunately, he and his wife were suddenly verbally attacked by a trans-allied member of the community who assumed he was there to tell his daughter's story. Neither Smith nor his wife Jessica provoked the attack.
As he was being verbally attacked, Smith tried to explain what had happened to his daughter. Instead, he was shut down and berated. The woman who verbally assaulted him also threatened to "shut down his livelihood"—his family business. At that point, he began to shout back at the woman after attempting to contain himself for several minutes. He was then tackled to the floor from behind and arrested by law enforcement. The event was video recorded and shared on multiple social media platforms within hours.
During the same June meeting, many in attendance erupted when Superintendent Ziegler of the county's schools "said the school hadn't had any incidents involving a transgender student in bathrooms and declared that 'the predator transgender student or person simply does not exist.'" Many local parents now say the superintendent kept the information from the public, putting their children at further risk.
The boy who assaulted Smith's daughter was detained for a short period of time and later released. He was ordered to wear an ankle monitor bracelet and to return to court on Oct. 14. Unfortunately, the same boy allegedly sexually assaulted another young girl in another public school during his release. The screenshot announcing the incident was sent to UncoverDC by a local parent who knows the Smith family.
Mr. Smith explains his actions about the incident at the school board meeting:
"As a concerned parent whose daughter's sexual assault was directly related to the policies being considered, I attended the June 22 School Board meeting. I did not intend to speak and did not sign up to speak at the meeting, but was very concerned about what the School Board was considering."
"When the School Board abruptly ended the meeting, I was confronted and taunted by an activist who supports the School Board's bathroom policy. The activist was aware of the sexual assault on my daughter and wrongfully assumed I was going to speak."
"Despite being subjected to this unprovoked confrontation, I was unreasonably restrained by law enforcement, completely violating my constitutional rights."
"While some in the media have tried to impugn my character, I am not a domestic terrorist. I am a concerned father who loves his family and will protect them at every turn."
The Smith family is outraged that the boy was released into the community, reinforcing the very fears they had at the June school board meeting. They were fearful that such an attack could happen again. They were never advised that the boy had been allowed to go back to school.
Per his statement in the news release, Mr. Smith explains:
"The sexual assault on our daughter and the subsequent sexual assault by the same individual were both predictable and preventable. Subsequent to the sexual assault on our daughter, Loudoun County Public Schools formalized the policy regarding restroom use that was easily exploitable by a potential sexual assailant. Because of poor planning and misguided policies, Loudoun Schools failed to institute even minimal safeguards to protect students from sexual assaults. And contrary to statements from the Loudoun County Commonwealth's Attorney's office, our family was never informed that the student who sexually assaulted our daughter was being returned to the schools. Had we been informed, we would have been outraged."
"The facts are that a male student claiming to be 'gender fluid' was permitted to enter the girls' bathroom on May 28 and sexually assault our daughter. Making matters worse, the school system repeatedly failed to protect her thereafter. Then, they concealed the sexual assault from the public while considering formalizing a bathroom access policy that would have—and now has—increased the likelihood of sexual assaults like these. As a result, our daughter and our family has suffered, and continue to suffer, from the very real consequences of a policy that endangers the safety of every student."
The family's attorney is determined to protect Smith and his family from further defamation. His statement reads:
"The conduct of Loudoun County Schools and the Loudoun School Board directly resulted in the brutal rape of the Smith's daughter at Stone Bridge High. It only takes an instant to see how Loudoun County Schools have adversely affected this family and have harmed their daughter. To date, no one with Loudoun County Public Schools or the School Board has been held accountable for the wrong done to the Smith family."
"Our firm intends to rectify that."
"We will fight the wrongful and unconstitutional criminal charges against Mr. Smith in circuit court. We will protect the interests of their daughter at every turn of the legal process. And, we will pursue federal Title IX actions against the local government and all officials who are responsible for allowing this harm to come to the Smith's daughter."
Smith was featured on the Laura Ingraham show on Tuesday. He told Ingraham he has no issue with transgender individuals whatsoever. Rather, he was at the board meeting to ensure all students were safe, including his daughter.
Many parents from Loudoun County again attended the school board meeting on Tuesday, upset with what they view as the county's negligence and "secrecy" concerning the boy's release that allegedly resulted in the assault of another young girl. During the meeting, they called for the resignation of Superintendent Scott Ziegler.
The school board responded on Wednesday.
LCPS Response 10.13.2021
As with many parents across the U.S., Loudoun County parents have been actively protesting on behalf of their children due to what they believe is government overreach and the rapid encroachment of politics in their children's education and curricula.
Masks, vaccine mandates, Critical Race Theory (CRT), and even sexually graphic materials embedded in the curriculum have been the issues that have energized the community. They have felt marginalized and unheard. Many in the suburban community have been threatened both on social media and in real life.
Their fears of being targeted were recently reinforced by a Sept. 29 letter from the National School Boards Association (NSBA), headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia. The NSBA wrote a six-page letter, stating that some parents' "heinous actions could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes."
The letter prompted a response from Attorney General Merrick Garland, who wrote an Oct. 4 memorandum indicating that he would now begin to use the full force of federal agencies like the FBI to investigate parents who engage with school boards.
"The Justice Department will launch a series of additional efforts in the coming days designed to address the rise in criminal conduct directed toward school personnel. Those efforts are expected to include the creation of a task force, consisting of representatives from the department's Criminal Division, National Security Division, Civil Rights Division, the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, the FBI, the Community Relations Service, and the Office of Justice Programs, to determine how federal enforcement tools can be used to prosecute these crimes, and ways to assist state, tribal, territorial and local law enforcement where threats of violence may not constitute federal crimes."
The June meeting video of Smith's arrest has been repeatedly taken out of context and spread virally throughout social media and news platforms. The media used the video to support the notion that parents attending school board meetings are worthy of being designated as "domestic terrorists" if they dare advocate for their children.
Smith told UncoverDC on Wednesday that while his family experienced some "rough times this summer," his daughter has the support she needs and is "thankfully—doing very well."