Attend a Loudoun County school board meeting in Virginia, and you will find it almost as locked down as the US Capitol post-January 6. Police cars line the streets and dozens of security personnel post up inside the building. I attended the most recent meeting on Tuesday as media and was subject to a thorough bag check and extensive metal scanning. Residents who wish to speak at meetings are not even allowed in the building until they are in the next group of ten scheduled to appear, and they are not allowed to bring in bags or purses.
Chairs for the public are socially distanced, limiting the number of people who can even sit inside. The Loudoun website claims that this is “to ensure physical distancing for those attending the business portion of the School Board meeting, which follows public comment.”
“This will result in limited public seating in the School Board Meeting Room,” Loudoun admits.
Oddly enough, this is the only seating section that is socially distanced in the meeting room. The school board members, the media, and other attendees manage to sit side-by-side. Still, this means nothing for the parents who line up single file outside of the meeting room until it is their turn to speak.
Loudoun will claim that these rules are for “safety,” but the restrictions on speaking time and public viewing were initially put in place due to a meeting in June that violated the school board meeting rules on “decorum” as attendees chanted and interrupted the proceedings. The National School Boards Association cited that meeting in a letter to the Biden administration asking the FBI to investigate a rise in “threats” against school board members across the country. Attorney General Merrick Garland complied with the request. The NSBA later disavowed the letter, which likened the passionate parents to “domestic terrorists.”
At Tuesday’s meeting, 120 Loudoun residents signed up to speak in-person. An additional 13 did so virtually. Residents were allowed just one minute of speaking time. Several speakers referenced the fact that most of them had to wait outside in the cold weather — Dominion Energy reported thousands of homes lost power due to heavy winds in the DC area — because of the speaking restrictions and accused the school board of trying to discourage them from showing up to speak.
The vast majority blasted the school board over its alleged cover up of a sexual assault in order to advance a transgender bathroom policy, vaccine mandates for student athletes and the teaching of critical race theory in classrooms. Many parents came armed with signs featuring an email sent by Superintendent Scott Ziegler indicating that he had knowledge of a sexual assault by a gender-fluid student in a girl’s bathroom, despite claiming in a board meeting over the summer that he had no record of assaults on file.
“You’re all busted for lying and orchestrating a cover-up,” one female parent said early on in the public comment portion of the meeting. “You’re digging yourselves deeper and deeper with each day that goes by. Do the taxpayers and families of Loudoun a favor and resign today.”
“I brought this sign back in June,” a woman asserted as she toted a sign that read, “LCPS: Don’t lie to me unless you’re absolutely sure that I will never find the truth.”
“And now the truth is out. Imagine that. You all are such liars.”
A few weeks ago, bombshell reporting from the Daily Wire‘s Luke Rosiak revealed that Scott Smith, a Loudoun parent who was dragged out of a school board meeting by police in June for violating decorum, is the father of the young girl who was assaulted. Smith told Rosiak that his daughter was assaulted by a boy wearing a skirt, causing him and other parents to have great concerns over the trans bathroom policy being pushed by the school board. The perpetrator, who was just found guilty in juvenile court, was transferred to another school, where he then assaulted another girl. The board pretended the incident never occurred, and the transgender policy passed.
Another mom pointed out the irony that the school board has locked down their meetings out of concerns for “safety” while failing to protect young girls at their schools from assaults.
“You have all become obsessed with your own safety over the past few months, doing everything to protect yourselves from ‘domestic terrorists,’ which normal people refer to as ‘moms.’ A $3 million security budget, TSA-style pat-downs just to enter this room — all of this to ‘protect’ you adults from the people you’re supposed to serve,” she said.
Maureen Chambers, a social worker who said she spent most of her career in the public school system, pointed out that Ziegler’s email discussing the bathroom assault offered counseling services to students or employees who may have heard Smith reacting angrily to the incident, but not to students who may have previously suffered assaults or otherwise be in fear due to what happened to his daughter.
“I have lost so much sleep over this,” Chambers said through tears. “I have been a public school parent for 18 months. I have lost almost all confidence I had in this system I championed for so long.”
Parents have been using Loudoun school board meetings for the past month to call for Ziegler’s resignation. Virginia gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin and attorney general candidate Jason Miyares have promised an investigation into the school board provided they are elected. Students walked out of Broad Run High School on Tuesday to protest the board’s response to the assaults.
Although the subject matter was heavy, parents and Loudoun residents outside of the school board building Tuesday night seemed glad to be making their voices heard. A group of about 100 set up a projector screen in the parking lot so that they could watch their friends and neighbors give their speeches to the school board members inside. The crowd cheered for especially passionate speakers and carried signs saying, “Resign Ziegler,” “Loudoun Protects Rapists” and “Parents for Youngkin.”