The superintendent of a Virginia school district on Friday appeared to admit the district violated state law in failing to properly report alleged sexual assaults, as a state official confirmed the matter is under review.
Loudoun County Superintendent Scott Ziegler is seen during a school board meeting in Ashburg, Va., on June 22, 2021. (LCPS/Screenshot via The Epoch Times)
Loudoun County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Ziegler made the admission during a brief appearance before reporters, where he read a prepared statement and took no questions.
Ziegler said that the district made “errors in our state reporting regarding disciplinary incidents in schools,” adding that it “inadvertently omitted some information in the past.”
“That is extremely concerning, and we are taking steps to make sure that process is improved. I will say that I have no reason to believe at this time that any missing reports were due to an intent to hide any information from the Virginia Department of Education,” he said, blaming an alleged “lack of oversight” that was in place before he was appointed in June, even though he served as interim superintendent starting Jan. 1.
Ziegler appeared to be responding to a report by The Daily Wire that the district failed to record multiple instances of alleged sexual assault even though it’s required to by state law.
Ziegler said during a school board meeting on June 22 that he was unaware of any record of assaults happening in the district’s restrooms, nearly a month after a girl was allegedly raped by a male in a bathroom at Stone Bridge High School.
State law says that reports “shall be made” to school and district authorities regarding all assaults on school buses, on school grounds, or at a school-sponsored activity.
State law also directs district superintendents to annually report such incidents to the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). But a public database of reports showed at least one assault that was not reported to state authorities.
A Loudoun County Public Schools spokesperson declined to comment on Ziegler’s Friday remarks but did not dispute the characterization that Ziegler acknowledged state law was not complied with.
Superintendents who fail to comply or secure compliance with the reporting requirements are subject to sanctions.
A VDOE spokesman told The Epoch Times in an email that the agency has reviewed the submissions made by Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) concerning discipline, crime, and violation “and is in communication with LCPS regarding the accuracy of their reports and whether the division is in compliance with state reporting requirements.
The spokesman confirmed that the submissions are required annually and that superintendents are required to certify their accuracy.
“This is a matter that VDOE takes very seriously and is actively investigating discrepancies in the LCPS reports,” he said.