LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. (DC News Now) — A special grand jury released a report on Monday after a months-long investigation into Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS). This was spurred after two sexual assaults in the schools in 2021.
While the report concluded that there “was not a coordinated cover-up” regarding these incidents, there were several steps where administrators failed to step up.
“We believe that throughout this ordeal LCPS administrators were looking out for their own interests instead of the best interests of LCPS. This invariably led to a stunning lack of openness, transparency, and accountability both to the public and the special grand jury,” the report stated.
One of the reported assaults took place at Broad Run High School on October 6, 2021. The report said that administrators, including the superintendent, had several steps where they could have stepped in and changed the outcome, but “they failed at every juncture.”
“…multiple witnesses testified the October 6, 2021 crimes should have been prevented and expressed disgust, outrage, and sadness that they occurred,” the report read.
Details in court revealed that the student who was charged and found responsible had abducted a 15-year-old girl and touched her inappropriately. He had previously been found guilty of the other assault, which took place at Stone Bridge High School.
The report and investigation ended with eight recommendations:
- Increasing transparency with parents, staff, students and the community
- Re-examining the transfer process
- Involving the LCPS director of safety and security
- Tightening policies around apps on school-issued devices
- Limiting how much information of public concern is shielded from the community
- Improving communication, cooperation and coordination across agencies
- Strengthing support for faculty and staff who may be faced with these difficult situations
- Putting the recommendation for the non-renewal of a teacher’s contract under a separate agenda, not on the Loudoun County School Board consent agenda
Officials with the Loudoun County School Board released a statement following this report’s publication.
This broad use of the special grand jury investigative process did, however, yield a Report that contains several criticisms of LCPS employees and processes within the Division that are quite serious. We are placing this on our next Board agenda for immediate discussion to reflect on these recommendations and take action as determined by the full Board.Statement from Loudoun County School Board Leadership
You can read the full report below.