The Virginia Supreme Court affirmed Friday that a special grand jury investigating how Loudoun County school officials handled two high-profile sexual assaults can continue its work, despite a challenge from the local school board.
Miyares (R) said in a statement the Friday ruling allows him to fulfill his pledge to voters to investigate the sexual assaults, which led to a political firestorm that gained national attention and became an issue in the 2021 race for governor.
“This is yet another win for both Loudoun families and the Commonwealth in our fight for justice and answers,” Miyares said.
Youngkin, who signed an executive order on his first day in office allowing Miyares to launch the investigation, called the ruling a “victory” and said the school board failed to address the sexual assaults and “continuously let down parents and students in Virginia.”
The governor has recently taken a harsh tone toward Virginia school districts — especially Northern Virginia systems — for their policies on transgender students.
The grand jury was launched earlier this year to probe why a then 15-year-old, who sexually assaulted a girl in a girls’ bathroom at Stone Bridge High School in 2021, was allowed to re-enroll at Broad Run High School, where the teen sexually assaulted a second student. The teen was awaiting trial in the first incident at the time of the second assault.
Loudoun County officials promised major changes in the wake of the case.
The parents of the Stone Bridge victim described her assailant as “gender fluid.” Authorities have not commented on that characterization. Authorities said the teen was wearing a skirt during the Stone Bridge assault.
The case sparked backlash against a Loudoun County schools’ policy that allowed students to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity. The policy was put in place after the first assault occurred.
The Loudoun County School Board sought a temporary injunction against the special grand jury probe in May, saying Youngkin and Miyares were on a politically motivated “fishing expedition” instead of a criminal probe.
Wayde Byard, a spokesman for the Loudoun County schools, said in a statement the school board was disappointed with the ruling.
“Loudoun County Public Schools appreciates the Supreme Court’s consideration of the unusual circumstances regarding this special grand jury,” Byard said. “LCPS will continue to comply with the Special Grand Jury’s requests and awaits the results of its investigation.”
More on local education
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