When a judge sentenced the Loudoun County teenager charged with sexual assault at two separate high schools earlier this week, that action vindicated concerned parents, countering the narrative that parents speaking up at school boards are akin to "domestic terrorists," these parents say.
The National School Boards Association (NSBA) made the comparison in a letter shortly before the Department of Justice issued a memorandum on the issue, and a document indicates that Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona solicited the letter, though a spokesperson denied it. That letter cited Scott Smith, whose daughter was sexually assaulted in a girl's restroom in May. Smith got arrested and was ultimately convicted of disorderly conduct for acting in anger after Superintendent Scott Ziegler insisted at a June school board meeting that "the predator transgender student or person simply does not exist." Ziegler has since apologized for this comment.
A judge sentenced the teen who victimized Smith's daughter to supervised probation and forced him to register as a sex offender, commenting that the assailant's record "scared me." The Loudoun County Juvenile Court had previously found the male student "not innocent" of charges of forcible sodomy and forcible fellatio against a female student in a May 28 incident at Stone Bridge High School. The same student pleaded "no contest" in a separate case to two charges of abduction and sexual battery involving an incident at Broad Run High School on October 6.
"The White House, Department of Justice, and the NSBA colluded to create a narrative that parents like those in Loudoun County were akin to domestic terrorists merely for vigorously arguing against an open bathroom policy that endangered young girls," Ian Prior, father and executive director at Fight for Schools, told Fox News Digital on Thursday.
"Without Loudoun parents continuing to stand against their school board, the world never would have known that a boy sexually assaulted a girl in a bathroom, the Superintendent lied about it, and the boy was quietly transferred to another school where he struck again," Prior said.
The school district has repeatedly denied accusations of a cover-up, and a spokesperson said the district alerted authorities immediately after the incidents. Yet the county sheriff has blamed Ziegler for keeping the assailant in schools after the May incident, enabling the latter attack.
"The sentencing of this boy can hopefully bring some peace to the victims and their families, as well as demonstrate that involved parents are not domestic terrorists but are determined investigators and watchdogs that will do anything and everything to keep their kids safe," Prior added.
"When the administration tried to silence parents, it did nothing to deter us from seeking the truth," Brandon Michon, a Loudoun County father of three, told Fox News on Thursday. "Parents were justified in our concerns about school safety."
He said that he and other parents spoke up trying to make "sure our schools are a safe environment for learning and growth, and that the systems in place are correctly implemented. Parents put an enormous amount of trust in our schools, and they need to earn that back."
Scott Mineo, a Loudoun County father who runs Parents Against Critical Theory, expressed concerns about how LCPS deals with situations like this one. He noted that the school district kept the assailant in school. "How are they dealing with other kids that are really bad but not as bad as this rapist?" he asked.
Elicia Brand, a Loudoun County mom, told Fox News that it is "irresponsible and absurd" to compare "parents peacefully advocating for the futures and well-being of children" to "domestic terrorists." She noted that LCPS has refused to release a report from an independent investigation regarding the sexual assailant. She demanded that LCPS release the report.
The NSBA did not respond to Fox News' request for comment by press time.