by Eric Lendrum
Recently-unearthed documents revealed a disagreement between the superintendent of Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) and the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO), after the former requested increased security measures from the latter in order to combat protesting parents at school board meetings, the Daily Caller reports.
The correspondence was revealed by a public records request from the Fight for School PAC. Documents show that superintendent Scott Ziegler’s requests included an increased presence of officers, a K-9 sweep of the meeting venue, and undercover officers in the crowd, among other measures, all of which were rejected by LCSO as excessive.
The LCSO even went so far as to disagree with Ziegler changing the rules for the school board meeting, including the decision to shut down the public comment section of a meeting that took place on June 22nd; LCSO told Ziegler that measures such as this amounted to silencing political opposition.
It was at the June 22nd meeting when the father of a female student, Scott Smith, was beaten and arrested by police officers when he protested the school board’s declaration that there had been no instances of rape or sexual assault in any LCPS facility. Smith’s daughter, a high school freshman, was raped by a male student who identified as “transgender” and wore a skirt when he walked into the womens’ restroom, where he assaulted the girl.
After the rape on May 28th, the student was transferred to another school in Loudoun County, where he subsequently raped another female student under similar circumstances.
In a letter sent on August 6th, LCPS chief operations officer Kevin Lewis told Ziegler that LCSO “would not be supporting LCPS for the meeting” that was scheduled for August 10th. Lewis said that he had been told as much by Sheriff Mike Chapman himself, who made his decision after LCPS “unilaterally” shut down public comment; Chapman also pointed to security measures that LCPS had taken on its own, including hiring a private security firm and installing metal detectors, all without consulting LCSO first.
Sheriff Chapman’s office even put some of the blame on the school board itself, pointing out that “6 of 9 SB members brought this to bear by creating anti racist groups on social media,” which subsequently advocated for parents to be doxxed as retaliation for their protests.
Chapman pointed out that his office had received much of the nationwide blame and became “the bad guys” following the June 22nd incident. Ziegler, conversely, “took none of the push back from the community or national arena.”
Chapman also took issue with Ziegler’s dictating that LCPS would take command of LCSO forces at the August meeting.
“Your email also dictates exactly ‘how’ the LCPS plans to utilize LCSO resources to staff the event,” said Chapman in his correspondence with Ziegler. “It is not the LCPS’ position to dictate how the LCSO is to handle public safety and law enforcement. The LCSO provides service and responses commensurate with the issues at hand and answers to the public at large – not to the LCPS.”
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