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Equality Loudoun Updates Community on Grand Jury Subpoenas; AG Miyares To Not Pursue Subpoena Request for Student Record

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From Equality Loudoun:

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PRESS RELEASE: Equality Loudoun Updates Community on Grand Jury Subpoenas

AG Miyares To Not Pursue Subpoena Request for Student Record

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE- MAY 9, 2022

SUMMARY

  • The Attorney General’s Grand Jury issued subpoenas for student records specifically with mentions of transgender policy.
  • Equality Loudoun has established a legal defense fund for LGBTQ+ families whose students’ privacy is being threatened.
  • All groups claiming to be concerned with parents’ rights should be contesting this form of government overreach into any student’s private records unrelated to the case.
  • Parents should review Policy 8360 for potential options on maintaining student records if they feel they could be affected by future action.

LEESBURG, VA  Equality Loudoun thanks the Loudoun community for its swift and strong response to the subpoena issued to the family of a transgender student unrelated to the Grand Jury investigation into LCPS. After many parents, families, and community members raised objections the request for records has now been rescinded.

“Regardless of a student’s identity, any request for private and sensitive student records in this context can be dangerous. We will continue to hold accountable those who seek to conflate our LGBTQ+ community, especially students, with the horrific occurrences of assault in 2021,” said Equality Loudoun President Cris Candice Tuck. “This is the ultimate parent’s rights issue, and we challenge all organizations who claim to care about students to stand up in defense of parents and families who are seeking the protection and privacy of children from government overreach.”

“We want to thank the community for their patience and trust as we worked through this rapidly evolving situation. For over 20 years, Equality Loudoun has been dedicated to the need for awareness, advocacy, and protection while simultaneously protecting the rights to privacy and safety of the community we serve. We thank the family for coming forward to expose this dangerous action at potential risk to themselves to help safeguard our community.”

BACKGROUND
On Wednesday, May 4, 2022, Equality Loudoun was notified by the family of a transgender student that they had received a letter from the Division Counsel for Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) noting that “a subpoena was issued by the Office of the Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Virginia requesting several educational records, in a special grand jury […] The grand jury subpoena’s search request resulted in several unrelated student records, which include records of your child […] that may have to be disclosed,” providing a compliance deadline of May 10.

Via legal counsel, the family sought to file an injunction to protect their child’s sensitive and private records. The student was not related in any way to the case being investigated through the Office of the Attorney General. On Friday, May 6, the family was notified that they would not be able to block the student’s records from being released without filing individual injunctions in court for each document, a costly and challenging process in the timeline provided.

“The family was informed by LCPS that the records were subpoenaed based on keyword searches for “transgender policy,” a term that should be entirely unrelated to the handling of the sexual assault case, provided none of the students involved were transgender and no LCPS-wide policy tailored to transgender students was yet in place,” said Equality Loudoun President Cris Candice Tuck.

The parents attempted to have the officials handling this case redact their child’s name and identifying information, but the Division Counsel informed the family that the redaction requests were denied. The family is preparing to file a motion against the subpoena.

“After receiving backlash from across the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Attorney General’s office is floundering,” said Equality Loudoun Director of Communications Nicholas Gothard. “Their statements contradict the clear and present language in the initial letter that identifies student records as part of the subpoena’s scope.”

Equality Loudoun has made available a copy of the letter received to media outlets to verify with proper redactions to preserve student privacy. Following backlash, the family’s legal counsel has been told that the statement did not apply to student records, contrary to the explicit wording in the initial notice. Further, they’ve been informed that investigators would not be pursuing the subpoena for the student’s records.

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Founded in 2003, Equality Loudoun (EQLOCO) is Loudoun’s largest nonprofit organization fighting to promote, protect, and defend LGBTQ+ equality in Loudoun County.

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