Assailant’s mother reacts to LCPS Special Grand Jury report

FOX 5’s Sierra Fox spoke exclusively with the mother of a student who was found guilty of raping a classmate in a bathroom stall at Stone Bridge High School in May 2021 and sexually assaulting another girl in a classroom at Broad Run High School in October 2021 — shortly after being transferred there

To protect her family, she wanted to remain anonymous. 

In regard to the Special Grand Jury's report looking into both incidents, the woman said she has never been contacted by investigators.

"Nobody is interested in my side of the story, as is evident with never having been asked to appear in front of the jury," she said. 

FOX 5 spoke to her about the bombshell report, the superintendent's firing, how her son is doing, and more. 

How is your son, and what is he doing these days?

My son has a team of people that include myself, the probation officer, counselors, and members of the Virginia community that are unified and working together to ensure his success moving forward. We are looking forward to very positive things and very positive contributions from him going forward.

Is he still with Loudoun County Public Schools?

He is being educated. [He] never left school. It was just the location in which he was being schooled that has changed. (Note: She would not confirm or deny if he was still with Loudoun County Public Schools.)

What did you think of the Special Grand Jury report?

I believe it demonstrates a failure within two schools within the Loudoun County Public School System.

In the report, it states teachers gave their supervisors warnings about your son’s concerning behavior. Do you think if those issues were taken seriously then it could’ve prevented the sexual assaults?

My son now has a unified team of adults working together to ensure his success and I did not have that at Stone Bridge.

I would like to think that there would have been more hurdles, more resources in place that would have led to a completely different situation.

There has to be a unified team presented to each of the students that says, ‘look, we are all working together to ensure your success.’ We’re not working against each other, and we are certainly all on the same team. And if there’s any division, then we’re going to talk about it and close those gaps to make sure everybody goes forward successfully. And I haven’t seen that unity as a team in at least Stone Bridge and Broad Run.

The report states "LCPS failed at every juncture" do you think that is accurate?

Well, let’s be fair. Let’s look at the report. It focused on Stone Bridge and Broad Run, which represent approximately 5% of the whole LCPS population, so more evidence needs to be presented demonstrating that the other 95 percent of the population of LCPS led to the sweeping generalization that LCPS was only looking out for their best interest.

It was everyone scrambling to try to put something together or not and everyone was reacting whereas, if it was a unified team working together, you would’ve had multiple people, multiple experts with various expertise who could’ve resolved this in a much more efficient and productive manner.

Was there anything that surprised you or you weren’t aware of regarding your son?

The manner in which it was presented accurately represents the amount of evidence that was collected, but I wasn’t there and I don’t have that first-hand knowledge of how the information was sorted through.

Are you saying you believe the report misrepresents your son?

I think there’s a lot of evidence missing from the report that would give it a holistic and comprehensive evaluation of the situation – good, bad, and indifferent.

I know this is private information, but was/has your son been diagnosed with any mental health concerns?

He’s taking the recommendation of the judge seriously and using the resources and the professionalism of the counselors and team in place to seriously look at himself. And to be fair, we all do that whether there’s categorically something described as wrong or not, he’s looking at his errors, and he’s looking at where he has gone wrong and making sure he’s taking the appropriate steps to never repeat those actions.

Is there anything your son wanted to say?

The thing that he has relayed to me the most is how much he regrets his actions. Now, that he has had an opportunity to exercise the judge’s recommendations of rehabilitation and use the counselor resources, he recognizes his misgivings and where he has great room for improvement so that he shouldn’t have done what he had done. If anything, he will not understand that would be a breach of court order and inappropriate at this time. But, he would want to say that as he had said in court that he is sorry that words cannot take away from the pain that they will forever carry, but that he is genuinely working on himself and ensuring that no one will ever have to endure the pain that they are carrying.

Thoughts on Superintendent Dr. Scott Ziegler being fired?

Well, it is my understanding that the school board decided behind closed doors that he was no longer the appropriate person for the position. The school board did what they thought was best for the community. My issue is, is this really going to effect change? Okay, he is no longer the superintendent of LCPS, but how is that going to impact positive change within the schools that are managed by principals and assistant principals? Unless things change within the school, I don’t know if we are really going to see the impact of a change in superintendent.

One of the recommendations by the Special Grand Jury is reevaluating the transfer process. Your son transferred from Stone Bridge to Broad Run – do you think that needs to be changed?

I think so, yes. In my conversations with Dr. Fulton, I had relayed that while being placed in a school that may be on the complete opposite side of the county may not be ideal, I understood that Dr. Fulton was in a position where he needed to protect the students, not just of Stone Bridge and Broad Run, but of all 80,000. I really looked for his expertise in making an informed and educated decision of where my son would be best placed with teachers who can best handle his situation and not further aggravate it. From there, I was surprised no one really asked me any more questions ... When I continued to request I wanted a meeting, I wanted to have a candid conversation about where we’re coming from and where we’re going and get things in place. Again, unified team, so that nothing would happen again, and it felt like maybe I wasn’t taken as seriously as I should’ve been or that they were giving [my son] the benefit of the doubt.

Is there anything else you’d like to say about this entire ordeal? 

It has been a rough go. I recognize how the narrative by other people who have been much more vocal than I, can insight anger, and rightfully so. He’s a man standing up for his daughter who was robbed, and so he is not by any means wrong by his actions, but it has made a very divided society, and it has caused a lot of anger. I would like to hope that the governor and attorney general have fulfilled their request to the community to do an investigation to put it out as they had said and that this put the end to all of this so that we can finally put everything to rest. 

And I’ve relayed this to you before, Sierra, can we just put this all to rest, move forward and let my family, their family, the third family, and the community heal? Do we need to continue to bring this up or are there better ways of seeking positive change within the schools and frankly within the state? Loudoun County is not the only one with problems without constantly having to bring up a narrative that insights so much anger in the community. I feel like there's gotta be a better way.

LCPS has called for an emergency meeting on the matter Thursday night.