Parents blame sexual assaults on school district’s trans bathroom policies without proof

Religious right activists turned out to storm a school board meeting to protest calling students by their name and demand pupils not be taught something that isn't offered in the district.
Religious right activists turned out to storm a school board meeting to protest calling students by their name and demand pupils not be taught something that isn't offered in the district. Photo: Screenshot

Parents are blaming two sexual assaults against girls, allegedly committed by a 15-year-old gender-fluid boy, on the transgender-inclusive policies of Loudoun County, Virginia.

Police have yet to confirm whether the boy is actually gender-fluid though. And the first attack happened before any policies were instituted or discussed.

Related: Teacher quits in tears after being told she can’t misgender trans students anymore

The first alleged assault occurred on May 28 in a girl’s bathroom inside Stone Bridge High School. The accused attacker wore a skirt, the girl’s parents said. The second attack allegedly occurred on October 6 in a vacant classroom inside Broad Run High School. Both schools are in the city of Ashville.

The unnamed alleged assailant was charged with two counts of forceable sodomy for the first incident. He is currently being held in a juvenile detention center.

“The sexual assault on our daughter and the subsequent sexual assault by the same individual were both predictable and preventable,” the unnamed parents of the allegedly assaulted first victim said in a statement released through the Virginia-based Stanley Law Group, The Washington Blade reported.

“Subsequent to the sexual assault on our daughter, Loudoun County Public Schools formalized the policy regarding restroom use that was easily exploitable by a potential sexual assailant,” the statement added.

The trans-inclusive policy was adopted more than three months after the first assault occurred – and after a federal Supreme Court ruling and the issuance of federal guidelines.

In August, the Loudoun County School Board voted to require school workers to address students by their chosen names and pronouns. The board also voted to allow trans students to use the school facilities and play on sports teams matching their gender identities. The policy passed in a 7-2 board vote.

Angry parents have claimed that trans students were allowed to use girls’ bathrooms for months before the attack occurred, in a sort of pre-policy “pilot” program, the Blade noted. However, the local LGBTQ organization, Equality Loudoun, said these claims “are simply untrue.”

Equality Loudoun’s October 18 statement condemned the alleged attacks and extended “deepest sympathies to the victims of these heinous attacks and their families.” The statement also called for “due process and justice for the victims regardless of whether the alleged perpetrator was a member of the LGBTQ+ community.”

“However, the accusations that the alleged perpetrator of these assaults is transgender or genderfluid have so far been unverified,” the Equality Loudoun statement asserted. “Attempts to shift blame of this incident to any individual, group, or policy – other than the alleged perpetrator – does a grave disservice to the victims of these crimes and already marginalized youth in our community.”

Equality Loudoun member Cris Candice Tuck told the Blade that “sexual assaults have occurred in schools for decades before any transgender-inclusive policies were passed.” Tuck added that districts that have passed pro-trans policies have reported “no verified incidence of anyone abusing such policies to commit such attacks in schools.”

Over the summer, a Loudon County school board meeting devolved into chaos after transphobic, religious right protestors screamed at board members in protest of the districts’ proposed pro-trans policies. One man was arrested and another cited for trespassing after the meeting was declared an unlawful gathering.

Death threats against teachers and school board members over fears of pro-trans policies and “critical race theory” in schools recently compelled U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to ask the FBI and U.S. attorney’s offices to meet with federal and local law enforcement to “discuss strategies for addressing…the rise in criminal conduct directed toward school personnel.”

In response, Glenn Youngkin, an anti-LGBTQ Republican running for Virginia’s governorship, has claimed that “the FBI is trying to silence parents.” He has centered his campaign around parents who wish to shut down progressive policies in public schools.

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