Superintendent fired after investigation into assaults

Dec 6, 2022, 5:44 PM | Updated: Dec 7, 2022, 7:45 am

A northern Virginia school board has fired its superintendent after a special grand jury accused him of lying to the board about the sexual assault of a student.

The Loudoun County School Board voted unanimously Tuesday night to fire Scott Ziegler after holding a closed session.

Ziegler had been under fire after a student sexually assaulted classmates at two different high schools last year — incidents that became a touchstone for an array of incendiary cultural and political issues ahead of Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s election victory last year.

Attorney General Jason Miyares convened the grand jury last year after a request from Youngkin to investigate the school system.

The grand jury issued a harsh report Monday that singled out Ziegler for criticism.

After the first assault occurred at Stone Bridge High School in May 2021, the boy was allowed to attend nearby Broad Run High School while he awaited trial in juvenile court. The second assault occurred in a Broad Run classroom in October 2021.

At a June 2021 school board meeting, Ziegler answered questions from board members as they considered policies related to transgender students, including whether those students can use restrooms of their preferred gender.

In response to a question, Ziegler denied that the school system ever had an incident involving students being assaulted in school restrooms. But the grand jury report said Ziegler was aware of the assault that had occurred in May 2021 and had even sent school board members an email about it.

The boy who was convicted of the assaults was wearing a skirt when the first assault occurred, playing into a national debate over how schools should treat transgender students and whether they should be allowed to use restrooms different to their biological sex. The student was assigned male at birth and it is not clear whether he identifies as gender-nonconforming.

The assaults and the school system’s response became major issues in Youngkin’s and Miyares’ winning election bids in November 2021, and both promised to investigate the school system if elected.

The school board sought to quash the investigation, calling it politically motivated, but the Virginia Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that the grand jury could move forward with its work.

The special grand jury has issued no indictments, though it remains empaneled.

The report also faulted school administrators for treating the father of the first victim harshly when he came to the school after his daughter was assaulted. And the report concluded that the second assault could have been avoided if administrators had heeded warning signs in the student’s behavior, which were reported by teachers.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Hinman Glacier...
Associated Press

Washington’s Hinman Glacier gone after thousands of years

The largest glacier between the high peaks of Mount Rainier and Glacier Peak has melted away after a long battle with global warming.
8 hours ago
Pierce County substation...
Associated Press

Man accused in holiday substation vandalism released from custody

One of the two men charged with vandalizing electrical substations in Washington state over the holidays to cover a burglary was ordered released from federal custody Friday to seek substance abuse help.
8 hours ago
Associated Press

Wife of Islamic State leader jailed for 8 years in Somalia

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — A military tribunal in Somalia has sentenced the wife of the head of a terrorist organization linked to the Islamic State group to eight years in prison for passing on information and organizing financial transactions for the group, a military official said Monday. Fartun Abdirashid, wife of Abdiqadir Mumin, head of […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

5 dead, police freed in Mexican rural confrontation

MEXICO CITY (AP) — It’s not clear how the violence happened, but civilians in southern Mexico took action over the weekend to make sure the government heard their complaints, surrounding a group of officers and leading them to a crime scene where two officers and three civilians were found dead. The government of the southern […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Turkey begins child abuse trial that put spotlight on sects

ISTANBUL (AP) — The parents and husband of a woman who was forced into marriage when she was just six years old went on trial in Turkey on Monday on charges of child and sexual abuse, in a case that has shone a spotlight on the country’s religious sects. The woman — now aged 24 […]
1 day ago
An 2022 Ford Mustang Mach E whips past the State Capitol as the legislative session opens in the Ho...
Associated Press

Ford cuts price on Mustang Mach-E after Tesla price cuts

DETROIT (AP) — Ford is cutting prices on its Mustang Mach-E electric SUV by as much as $6,000 just weeks after market leader Tesla took similar steps. The Detroit automaker increasing production of the Mach-E this year and is taking advantage of streamlined costs to reduce prices across the board, it said Monday. The price […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Superintendent fired after investigation into assaults