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'This is BS': Loudoun County, Va. students walk out in protest of sexual assault reports

WJLA – Washington D.C. logo WJLA – Washington D.C. 10/27/2021 Scott Taylor
Loudoun County students walkout in protest of sexual assaults reports
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LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. (WJLA)— Loudoun County Public School students planned a walkout Tuesday morning to protest for safer schools after two recent assaults were reported at two different Loudoun schools.

Crowds of students were seen outside schools in the district, including Stone Bridge, Loudoun County High School, Briar Woods High School, Broad Run High School and Lightridge High School.

On Monday, the teen suspect in a sex assault at Stone Bridge High School in May was found guilty on all charges. The victim’s legal team, The Stanley Law Group, tells 7News that the Judge determined that there were facts sufficient that the defendant committed a forcible assault. 

Scott Smith, the father of the victim, spoke to 7News investigator Scott Taylor four months after he was arrested at a Loudoun County school board meeting. He said he went there looking for answers after his daughter was assaulted.

Caption: Students participate in a walkout protest at Broad Run High School Tuesday morning, Oct. 26, 2021, following sexual assault reports at Loudoun County schools. (7News)

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Department confirmed earlier this month that a sexual assault did happen inside a bathroom at Stone Bridge on May 28. They said in a statement Wednesday that they arrested a 14-year-old boy in the case.

The second attack reported was at a classroom at Broad Run earlier this month after the suspect was allowed to come back to class at a different school.

RELATED | Loudoun County assault victim's dad wants apology for being called 'domestic terrorist'

During the Broad Run walkout, students started chanting “Loudon County protects rapists” and other messages. They along with hundreds of students at schools across Loudoun County walked out to show support for two students attacked by the same 14-year-old classmate.

The suspect was not charged or convicted of rape.

Caption: Students participate in a walkout protest at Broad Run High School Tuesday morning, Oct. 26, 2021, chanting “Loudon County protects rapists”. (Scott Taylor/7News)

The incident sparked outrage among Loudoun County parents who spoke out at a recent school board meeting. The incident has also received national attention and made student safety a platform for Virginia's gubernatorial race.

“Why didn’t anybody tell us,” shouts a student in the crowd at Broad Run.

Loudon County School Officials have already apologized for stating there were no sexual assaults in bathrooms at a June school board meeting. Superintendent Scott Zeigler said he misinterpreted the questions.

The 15-year-old suspect is expected back in court on Nov. 15 to face a sexual battery charge on the second attack and the court has said it will also sentence the teen the same day.

“We need change. This is BS. We demand change,” shouts another student during the walkout. 

OTHER RELATED STORIES:

'Handled poorly': Sex assault victim's father demands investigation of Loudoun schools

Loudoun County father arrested at school board meeting wants court venue changed

Sexual assault victim's family to pursue a lawsuit against Loudoun County Schools

'You guys failed': Talks of multiple sexual assaults dominate Loudoun school board meeting

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