Loudoun County Public Schools is accused of retaliating against two women who say there were assaulted by elementary school special education students, but the superintendent is denying those allegations.
During last night’s School Board meeting, two teachers delivered public comment, claiming that they were assaulted by students in their special education classrooms in an LCPS elementary school.
The teacher said that she experienced “fondling, groping, sexualized facial and hand gestures toward me, other teachers, and students” while working in a special education classroom.
During her comment, she began to identify the action taken by administrators, including that the student had been moved to another classroom. Chairman Jeff Morse (Dulles) interrupted, indicating that her comments were bordering on violating students’ privacy rights.
Members of the crowd jeered and shouted “let her finish.”
“If we have interruptions, I will have you escorted out,” Morse said.
The teacher said that she was fired after her employer launched a “smear campaign” against her.
She also said that she was subpoenaed to testify to the special grand jury investigating the division’s handling of multiple sexual assaults in two different Ashburn high schools.
Her comments were followed by comment from her teaching assistant. The assistant said that prior to the pair sharing the incidents in the classroom, she had received excellent reviews from her employer, until a meeting regarding her termination.
“At that meeting my principle said, ‘it didn’t have to look like this, but you made choices,’” the assistant said.
Executive Director of Fight for Schools Ian Prior told the board during the March 22 School Board meeting about the teachers being inappropriately touched.
“I believe I’ve given you all the information to track this down and solve it tonight, but if you don’t, you know how to get in touch with me,” he said. He added that the situation was a hostile work environment.
During the meeting, Superintendent Scott Ziegler made a statement alluding to the allegations of retaliation.
“While our obligations regarding confidentiality and student privacy preclude us from providing additional details regarding this matter, LCPS investigates and addresses all concerns that are brought to our attention,” he said.
The teachers’ and elementary school names are not being published to protect the identities of the special education students involved in the allegations.
No reports were filed with law enforcement following the incidents involving students.
The allegations come as the school division reports a perception of increasingly challenging student behavior among teachers.
While no explanation was provided from LCPS to the public about the firings, teachers speaking out about specific incidents involving their students may violate the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
Division spokesman Wayde Byard would not comment on the specifics of the allegations, citing student and employee privacy rights.