One of the last school board meetings of an eventful calendar year in Loudoun County, Va., saw dozens of parents, residents and students turn out for dueling parking lot protests — while inside, more than 100 people gave impassioned and angry speeches, with many calling for the resignation of the board and Superintendent Scott A. Ziegler.

Loudoun, a Northern Virginia district of 81,000, has been roiled with controversy for the better part of a year, dominated by ongoing conflicts over policies for transgender students and the district’s equity work. Most recently, top school officials have faced severe criticism from parents on both sides of the political aisle for the district’s decision over the summer to transfer a high school student accused of sexual assault to another high school within the system, where the student allegedly committed a second sexual assault. A juvenile court judge this week sustained the charges against the student in the first assault, the equivalent of a guilty verdict, and the youth is awaiting trial in the second assault case.

On Tuesday, many parents lambasted the school system’s handling of the sexual assaults, saying they feared for their children’s safety. Board members did not respond because school policy does not allow for an interchange. Instead, each speaker gets 60 seconds to share their views before ceding the floor to another speaker.

“What is painfully obvious is your lack of concern for the children in this community,” said Loudoun resident Emily ­Emshwiller.

“I respectfully ask that the board resign — you, too, Scott Ziegler,” said Cheryl Onderchain, who said her children are enrolled at Broad Run High School, the campus where one of the assaults allegedly took place.

The controversy over the school district’s handling of the sexual assault allegations has become a hot topic in the waning days of the Virginia governor’s race. Republican nominee Glenn Youngkin has demanded an investigation of the Loudoun County School Board.

The political ties were evident Tuesday, with many attendees showing up to the board meeting in Youngkin apparel. The parking lot was filled with more signs than people, most of them reading “Youngkin” or “McAuliffe,” a reference to Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe.

Separated by a sea of those posters, several dozen protesters and counterprotesters — some there to advocate for LGBTQ students, others to protest transgender rights and the school district’s handling of the sexual assault allegations — faced off on a cold, windy afternoon before the meeting.

The two camps had little interaction. The closest they came to a clash was when one set of parents, members and supporters of pro-equity group “Loudoun 4 All,” played loud music at the same time as the mostly conservative parents across the way invited a small child to step up to a microphone and sing the national anthem.

Inside the building, speakers filed into the meeting room one by one to address masked board members seated behind a wooden desk on a raised dais. Board rules, adopted after an especially chaotic June meeting ended in an arrest, do not permit an audience during public comments. The guidelines also mandate that only one speaker at time can enter the room to address the board, and that only 10 speakers total can set foot in the building simultaneously, after undergoing a search by security personnel stationed outside the door.

The scene Tuesday — upset parents, reporters’ flashing cameras, masked guards stationed at two corners of the mostly empty room — was bizarre but familiar for the county, a fact some speakers recognized.

“I come again in the name of the Lord,” said Loudoun resident Rene Camp, a repeat meeting attendee who held up a sign reading, “School Board Must Resign!”

“So I’m back again for another week,” resident Tori Walden said.

“Welcome,” resident Michael Rivera said, “to Groundhog Day.”

Loudoun’s nine-member school board has borne the brunt of parents’ discontent over the past year and a half. Five members are being targeted in a recall effort, purportedly over their violations of open meetings laws, and one has since resigned.

This fall, enraged parents and residents have lined up in the hundreds to deliver diatribes against the board at contentious biweekly meetings that frequently have drawn attention from conservative pundits and Fox News. A handful of times, parents have chanted prayers at the board.

A loud and vocal contingent of parents, many of them conservative and Christian, are upset for a variety of reasons — from mask mandates to required bias training for teachers to sexually explicit LGBTQ texts in Loudoun libraries that they find offensive.

Some parents have seized on news of the assaults to condemn a policy Loudoun adopted over the summer that allows transgender students to participate in extracurricular activities and use facilities, including bathrooms, that match their gender identities. Loudoun changed its guidelines for transgender students in response to a 2020 state law that required every district in Virginia to update school rules to safeguard transgender children from harassment.

The 15-year-old victim in the first sexual assault case has said that her abuser was “gender fluid,” prompting parental backlash against the transgender bathroom policy. That policy was adopted about three months after the May assault, meaning it was not in effect at the time. The second assault, which took place in October, allegedly happened in a classroom.

On Tuesday morning, hundreds of students at several Loudoun schools held 10-minute walkouts to demand the county protect students from sexual assault. A few hours later, at the board meeting, others took up the call.

“It’s morally wrong what he did, but a new school just means more new victims for him,” said Madelyn Jimenez, one of the only student speakers Tuesday night, who said she was in eighth grade. “Things need to change.”

Other speakers Tuesday tied the assaults specifically to the bathroom policy and demanded the repeal of the transgender guidelines.

Earlier this month, Ziegler promised major reforms to Loudoun’s disciplinary procedures to prevent a similar occurrence. Going forward, Ziegler said, Loudoun will ensure that students involved in major disciplinary infractions “will have alternative placements” to keep them separate from the general student body.

After about two hours of public comments Tuesday, the school board moved on with little fanfare to its regular business, including considering a utility easement at Cool Spring Elementary School and pondering proposed renovations at Douglass High School.

The board also voted unanimously to add Title IX reform to its list of legislative priorities for 2022. Title IX is the federal law that guides how schools address sexual harassment and assault. In the wake of the sexual assault revelations, Ziegler had promised the school board he would lobby to change Title IX, partly to make it easier for school districts to separate students accused of sexual assault or harassment from the rest of the student body.