This scandal was brewing in my Northern Virginia back yard. I was remiss in not raising it earlier.
On May 28 a male student wearing a skirt entered a girl’s bathroom (he “identified as female, you see, so he was within his rights due to a new trans-catering bathroom policy) at a school in Loudoun County, Virginia and raped a freshman girl. Yesterday’s Open Forum marked its first appearance on Ethics Alarms, as Humble Talent linked to his entry on “Humble Musings,” his (excellent) substack site,where he wrote in part,
“This story broke as a result of the father of the victim, Steve Smith, being arrested when he rose to express anger and concern over the policies of the Loudoun County School Board. Loudoun County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Ziegler has just said [in answer to school board member Beth Barts asking if there were sexual assaults in the bathrooms regularly] that “To my knowledge, we don’t have any record of assaults occurring in our restrooms.” Smith, perhaps understandably, was upset by this, which led to an outburst that quickly became heated, and Smith was arrested and removed from the building.”
Shortly thereafter, the request was made by an activist organization, the National School Board Association ,to the Biden Administration regarding parental outrage at the conduct of school administrators placing school board members in peril, and indeed raising the specter of domestic terrorism. Merrick Garland’s chilling memo, much discussed on the Hill last week, followed. A coincidence, we have been assured.
It would be simplest if you read Humble’s post linked above: my efforts to quote from it have been foiled by WordPress’s horrible block-quote systems which make quotes within quotes a nightmare. But because of the investigative work of D.C. TV station WTOP, we now know that Ziegler, Barts and every other member of the board were aware of the May assault in a high school bathroom thanks to Ziegler’s own email posted above. Now Ziegler and the school board members are sending out statements that attempt to show no deception was intended. Indications are, however, that Ziegler and the entire board wanted the May assault to disappear, especially after the male student involved was transferred to another school and allegedly assaulted someone else. Steve Smith says he was repeatedly told that he needed to remain quiet if he wanted justice for his daughter. Moreover, state law requires “A division superintendent who knowingly fails to comply or secure compliance with the reporting requirements of this subsection shall be subject to the sanctions authorized in § 22.1-65. A principal who knowingly fails to comply or secure compliance with the reporting requirements of this section shall be subject to sanctions prescribed by the local school board, which may include, but need not be limited to, demotion or dismissal.”
What’s going on here?
This isn’t Humble’s emphasis, but it’s mine: an ultra-progressive school board—remember, this is the County where the most contentious parent-school battles over Critical Race Theory have been ongoing—chose to cover-up an incident because it would might give credence to conservative objections to bathroom policies that would allow biological males to use the “Ladies Rooms.” Yes, there was a cover-up of a student rape, and that is, as Humble says, outrageous. But this is also an example of ideologues in the government (municipal, this time) hiding inconvenient facts that might undercut their social agenda. That’s not only unethical, it’s despicable, especially when the facts being hidden involve a violent crime.
Look: gender-confused people face a genuine problem in deciding where to handle their bodily functions. As with the trans and transitioning athlete issue, the ethical dilemma is how much the vast majority should suffer to rectify a genuine source of discomfort afflicting a tiny minority. Progressives have come to believe that minorities, even extreme minorities, should be able to dictate to the majority, except when the minority believes in things progressives don’t respect, like the Bible. Conservatives are equally inconsistent, favoring the minority over the majority in matters like pandemic vaccines, but not bathroom selection. Integrity is not a hallmark of either side of the partisan divide right now.
The claim that allowing biological males who identify as female to use women’s rest rooms buts women in constant danger of rape is exaggerated, and, I believe, disingenuous. A single instance where this may have happened doesn’t settle the debate at all: of course such a policy could lead to sexual assault, but remote worse case scenarios can be used to reject too many reasonable public policies to count. We also know, however that the “Barn Door Fallacy” causes risk-averse officials to over-react to anomalies: I am still annoyed that I have to remove my shoes to get on an airplane an asshole tried to blow up a plane using a shoe-bomb (that didn’t even work).
Well, tough luck. The public still has an absolute right to know the facts, and it is part of the creeping tendency of the Left—faster than creeping, now— to distort facts in order to advance its agenda by deceiving the public that makes the Loudoun cover-up especially significant. Trans activists must get what they want, by any means necessary, and if that requires covering up a rape, then it’s for the greater good.