Supreme Court Rejects Bid to Halt Special Grand Jury Investigation of Loudoun Schools

The Virginia Supreme Court on Friday ruled the special grand jury empaneled to investigate Loudoun County Public Schools’ handling of student sexual assault cases may continue.

The investigation stems from a case in which a Loudoun student sexually assaulted a student in a school bathroom and later was transferred to another school where he assaulted a second student. Gov. Glenn Youngkin issued an executive order in January requesting the Attorney General “initiate and coordinate investigative and prosecutorial efforts” into the school division.  Attorney General Jason Miyares requested a special grand jury to investigate.

Attorneys for the school district in July sought an injunction to prevent the grand jury from going forward. The School Board argued that the Attorney General was overstepping his authority in asking for the grand jury and that the function of the grand jury was not appropriate for the situation. 

Circuit Court James E. Plowman rejected that petition.

The School Board on Aug. 16 appealed to the Virginia Supreme Court seeking to overturn Plowman’s ruling.

The Supreme Court’s Sept. 2 ruling focused on the school division’s claim that the grand jury proceeding infringed upon the provision in the Virginia Constitution that vests the supervision of schools in the local school board. The court said the School Board had not offered a convincing argument for why the grand jury investigation infringes its rights.

“A grand jury investigation does not render the power of local supervision meaningless. The School Board will continue to oversee the County’s schools exactly as before. The constitutional power to administer a school district does not bring with it immunity from investigation for violations of the criminal law,” the ruling stated.

The justices found there was no irreparable harm demonstrated—the standard for granting an injunction—and agreed with Plowman’s ruling that “fear of and potential for investigative overreach by the grand jury does not constitute irreparable harm to the School Board’s authority.”

“The special grand jury is not hiring and firing teachers, spending money allocated for the schools, deciding where schools should be built, and so on, i.e. nothing the grand jury is doing restricts the School Board’s core constitutional power of supervision over the schools in Loudoun County. At this point, there does not appear to be any actual harm, much less irreparable harm,” the ruling stated.

Gov. Glenn Younkin and Attorney General Jason Miyares issued statements following the ruling. 

“As Attorney General I made a promise to Virginians to investigate what happened last year in Loudoun County. In July, I defeated the Loudoun County School Board’s attempt to block the investigation in the trial court. Today, The Supreme Court of Virginia affirmed that victory. We are pleased with the court’s ruling and ready to move forward. This is yet another win for both Loudoun families and the Commonwealth in our fight for justice and answers,” Miyares said.

Youngkin said the ruling was a victory for parents. “After the Loudoun County School Board failed to address sexual assault incidents in their district, were not held accountable for their actions and continuously let down students and parents in Virginia, I signed an executive order on my first day in office authorizing an investigation by Attorney General Miyares into the Loudoun County Public Schools,” he said.

The school division also issued a statement: “Loudoun County Public Schools appreciates the Supreme Court’s consideration of the unusual circumstances regarding this special grand jury. While LCPS is disappointed in the results, it will continue to comply with the Special Grand Jury’s requests and awaits the results of its investigation.”

12 thoughts on “Supreme Court Rejects Bid to Halt Special Grand Jury Investigation of Loudoun Schools

  • 2022-09-02 at 4:30 pm
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    Winner winner chicken dinner. LCPS no longer will be able to hide. All of the ugly truths will be coming out!

  • 2022-09-02 at 4:45 pm
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    It has been said that sunlight is the best disinfectant.
    With the School Board fighting so hard to keep us in the dark, one has to wonder what they are hiding.
    Loudoun’s children deserve better. Loudoun’s parents deserve better. Loudoun’s taxpayers deserve better.

    The only downside to this process is that we, the taxpayers, are footing the bill.

  • 2022-09-02 at 5:05 pm
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    New Flash: There was no rape coverup. The Stone Bridge incident was reported promptly to the Sheriff’s Office. LCPS didn’t broadcast this incident. But neither did the Sheriff’s Office. (I believe both agencies exercised discretion to protect the victim.) Yes, the offender was transferred to Broad Run, where he acted out. But LCPS promptly acknowledged this blunder, publicly apologized & outlined steps to prevent future occurrences. C’mon harpies. Please give it a break!

    • 2022-09-06 at 11:31 am
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      The offender “acted out”? Is that what you liberals now are calling sexual assault these days? Oh, boys will be boys. It’s unacceptable that no one at the school where the offender was transferred was aware of what this person did at the prior school. Protective measures should have been put in place. Parents should have been made aware. Names don’t need to be published. But this was a big cover up and a big blunder by the school district. Which leads to the question of, what other blunders have they made behind the scenes. We all see the blunders they make in public.

  • 2022-09-02 at 6:06 pm
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    Why are Loudoun taxpayers footing the legal fees for sexual predator enablers? If these people were on the hook for it, they’d think far more carefully about their actions and polices.

    Disgusting on any level.

  • 2022-09-02 at 8:12 pm
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    I can not underscore how important this Grand Jury is in draining the cesspool that is LCPS. I thank Governor Youngkin and AG Jason Miyares for pushing this forward. The truth will finally be known in the county, country, and around the world.

    There are a lot of fearful administrators at LCPS right now. Good!

  • 2022-09-03 at 3:55 pm
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    Let me guess. Loudoun taxpayers are paying for the attorneys to defend the corrupt school board and administration against Loudoun taxpayers. The superintendent should forfeit his $30k raise to cover some legal expenses.

  • 2022-09-04 at 11:17 am
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    I’m sure this ruling has come as a shock to the Ziegler and the other petty tyrants in the public schools and school board. Yes, you too are subject to the rule of law. Now watch them drag their feet at every turn to make sure that the students who were raped and assaulted never get justice. This is the real war on women and it is the Democrats who are fighting that war tooth and nail.

    Elections have consequences and turning over the schools to these people has been a tragic mistake with real world consequences for students.

  • 2022-09-04 at 12:36 pm
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    Congrats to Judge Plowman for making the right decision! Now for the give me a break award – “school board supervision over LCPS”. That hasn’t been the case since the 2007-2011 board in my opinion. Now for parents that want to see accountability PLEASE ask the school board to force law firms that earn WAY MORE than the school board approval authority level to BID FOR THEIR BUSINESS! What law firm would not want to appeal every case at $450/hour???????? VOTE in November and in every local election from now on to FIX THIS!

  • 2022-09-05 at 5:01 pm
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    I bet they’re disappointed! They are finally going to be held accountable for the unconscionable handling of this incident!
    There are too many incidents where the Board is more concerned with how they look and how pompous they are then our kids and what is best for them. I don’t know how any of these people can even hold their heads up in public after the way this was handled. They should all be held criminally liable for contributing to the danger of a minor and if not, I hope some group with clout sues the Board as a whole and each of them individually and that they are all removed from their positions.

  • 2022-09-06 at 8:07 am
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    We pray the parents of these students that were sexually assaulted enters into a civil suit against every member of the school board and its administration. It is time to go after their pocket books. These girls will never forget their trauma, ever. Time to make them own their irresponsible behaviors. Our children deserve protection from the likes of them.

  • 2022-09-06 at 7:19 pm
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    Time to celebrate!
    Ziegler and his merry band of school board misfits will be held accountable.
    They know it.
    We know it.

    Why would anyone NOT want the truth to come out? Hummmmm.

    I know why!

    Our kids deserve better than the garbage they have been served.

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