Editor: I am writing in response to the article titled “Parents, Students Press for Reform in Schools’ Handling of Sexual Assaults,” published in your newspaper on Oct. 13. As an alumni of Loudoun County Public Schools, I am extremely disappointed in how reported sexual assaults are being handled.
There have been tons of reported sexual assaults in LCPS, and almost nothing has been done about them for years. LCPS is only now speaking out about it because they’re forced to after the publicity of the arrest of Scott Smith at the School Board meeting back in June. Even with parents and students outraged, the School Board has said barely anything in regard to these recent assaults. “District spokesman Wayde Byard said neither he nor School Board members could comment on the alleged assaults. Although doing so would not risk revealing any of the students’ identities.” Why is nothing being said? Not commenting on these assaults does more harm than good. The students that have committed these crimes are not being held accountable, and aren’t suspended. It seems as if the assaulters are being protected more than the victims.
Woodgrove’s alumni who said they experienced sexual assault during their years at school reported: “82.5% of the respondents felt that not enough is done to prevent sexual harassment and assault at the school. Of the respondents who went to the administration for help, 90% felt that not enough action was taken in response to their experiences.” These statistics prove that LCPS doesn’t take victims seriously. Loudoun County administration needs to start educating their students on sexual assault, harassment, and consent. We can’t let this continue happening, and we need justice for all the victims that feel unsafe at school.
Elaina Sosa, Aldie