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Loudoun Co. superintendent: Sexual assault procedures ‘insufficient’

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The superintendent of the Loudoun County, Virginia, public colleges apologized on Friday for the college system’s response to latest sexual assaults by college students and outlined steps he mentioned would enhance the system going ahead.

The superintendent of the Loudoun County, Virginia, public colleges apologized on Friday for the college system’s response to latest sexual assaults by college students and outlined steps he mentioned would enhance the system going ahead.

“First, let me say to the households and college students concerned, my coronary heart aches for you,” Dr. Scott Ziegler, Loudoun County Public Faculties Superintendent, mentioned in a quick assertion Friday. “And I’m sorry that we failed to supply the secure, welcoming and affirming atmosphere that we aspire to supply. We acknowledge and share your ache and we are going to proceed to give you assist to assist your households by way of this trauma.”

Earlier this week, Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Lawyer Buta Biberaj mentioned {that a} 15-year-old pupil who allegedly groped a lady at Broad Run Excessive College final week was on electronic monitoring after being charged with sexually assaulting a younger woman in a rest room at Stone Bridge Excessive College, in Ashburn, in Could.

Ziegler mentioned he would suggest modifications to the Memorandum of Understanding between the college system and the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Division “to make sure college self-discipline and felony investigations can occur concurrently … this contains notification from the sheriff’s workplace to the superintendent and principal when college students are charged with severe offenses.”

The superintendent mentioned that though the college system “complied with our obligations” concerning sexual assault of scholars beneath federal Title IX, he known as that course of ”inadequate” and recommended a number of reforms.

Invoice Stanley, the lawyer representing the household of the sufferer, mentioned in a statement that Ziegler’s feedback confirmed what the the household already believed, the county’s college board and administration “failed to supply the secure atmosphere” for his or her baby.

“As evidenced by subsequent occasions and revelations, Loudoun Public Faculties have been failing the mother and father who entrusted them to supply a secure atmosphere for his or her kids each day,” Stanley mentioned. “That belief has irrevocably damaged by Loudoun County Public Faculties’ actions and inactions.”

Ziegler mentioned he’s spoken with Virginia Training Secretary Atif Qarni and Christian Rhodes within the workplace of the U.S. Training Secretary to Miguel Cardona, U.S. Training Secretary, about his options, which he’s recommending the College Board placed on the legislative agenda.

“Whether or not or not modifications happen,” Ziegler mentioned, “our division’s process will emphasize the security and safety of victims.” He added, “It has change into clear that our administrative procedures haven’t saved tempo with the expansion now we have seen in our county. Whereas casual protocols and school-based autonomy may fit in small- and medium-sized college divisions, they merely are usually not ample in a county with 82,000 college students.”

Ziegler mentioned certainly one of his prime priorities is new various placement choices for college students accused of significant self-discipline infractions.

He addressed latest studies that the county was being investigated by the Virginia Division of Training for discrepancies in studies of pupil sexual assault, saying that they didn’t look like intentional.

Ziegler mentioned “lack of oversight that existed previous to my tenure additionally contributed to errors in our state reporting concerning disciplinary incidents within the college. The division inadvertently omitted some data prior to now; that’s extraordinarily regarding. And we’re taking steps to be sure that this course of is improved.”

Ziegler was appointed interim superintendent in January; he’s had the everlasting job since June.

“Sooner or later,” Ziegler mentioned, “we are going to report occasions in actual time in our pupil data system and make corrections if wanted following the due-process procedures.”

https://wtop.com/loudoun-county/2021/10/loudoun-co-superintendent-sexual-assault-procedures-insufficient/ | Loudoun Co. superintendent: Sexual assault procedures ‘inadequate’

Aila Slisco

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