Loudoun4All appreciates the additional transparency that the report from the Grand Jury Investigation provides in regards to sexual assaults that occurred at Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) and hopes that these findings will be used by the community to advocate for additional changes to protect our students.
The following were key findings of the report:
LCSB was not part of a cover-up
The report confirms Loudoun4All’s assertion that Loudoun County School Board (LCSB) was not part of any coverup: “there was not a coordinated cover-up between LCPS administrators and members of the LCSB. Indeed, except for the May 28, 2021 email from the superintendent, the LCSB, both as a body and its individual members, were deliberately deprived of information regarding these incidents until after the October 6, 2021 sexual assault – and even then they learned not from the superintendent’s office but instead from public reporting that the assailant was the same one from the May 28 incident.”
In fact, the report demonstrates that LCSB was continually frustrated at the lack of information that they had and pushed repeatedly for updates.
Significant communication issues were found between LCSO, LCPS, the Courts and the CA’s office
The report found that the notification to LCPS by Juvenile Intake about the assaults was sent to a person no longer employed by LCPS. The report cites “a breakdown of communication between and amongst multiple parties – including the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, the Court Services Unit, and the Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.”
LCPS has significant issues with communication and transparency that need to be addressed
The reports final conclusion is that, “Although LCPS has taken positive steps forward resulting from the sexual assaults last year, such as increasing resources for Title IX compliance and updating policy 8220 (student disciplinary consequences), throughout this investigation we have learned LCPS as an organization tends to avoid managing difficult situations by not addressing them fully.”
The report calls attention to a number of issues with communication and transparency and makes recommendations as to how they can be addressed. The report did not find any criminal intention or action. Loudoun4All will continue to press for LCPS to develop a more robust policy for the handling of sexual assaults and to communicate that process effectively to stakeholders within LCPS as well as providing transparency to the public.
L4A remains concerned about the rate of sexual assaults in LCPS and in schools around the country. A 2020 survey by current students and alumni at Woodgrove High School revealed that 338 individuals bravely shared their experiences with sexual violence in LCPS ( http://www.bebetterwoodgrove.
This report is not the final assessment, but an early step in determining what changes need to be made and how we can make them.