The Loudoun County School Board voted unanimously in a closed session to fire Superintendent Scott Ziegler, effective immediately, only a day after a scathing special grand jury report into the school system’s management of two sexual assaults at school by the same student in 2021.
The Loudoun County School Board voted unanimously in a closed session to fire Superintendent Scott Ziegler, effective immediately, a day after a special grand jury report criticized the school system’s response. to two sexual assaults at school by the same student in 2021.
Wayde Byard, a spokesperson for the school system, confirmed the results of the vote, which came after a two-hour closed-door meeting.
At the same time, the school board was considering the report of the special grand jury that was appointed by Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares, Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Phyllis Randall called for Ziegler’s firing.
“Let me say this as clearly as I can: Dr. Ziegler needs to be fired,” Randall said. “I tell my school board colleagues, ‘Fire the superintendent.’
The special grand jury report said the school system “failed every moment” and administrators missed several opportunities to prevent a second assault from happening.
The grand jury did not issue any indictments in its report, which was unsealed on Monday, and said there was no “coordinated cover-up” between the school system and school board members. Miyares told OMCP that the grand jury is still sitting and “considering all options.”
Randall said Ziegler, who was acting superintendent at the time, bears responsibility for his actions and inaction.
“We had a young woman violently raped and another assaulted,” Randall said. “It was, for all intents and purposes, a cover-up on his part.”
Randall said he believed both victims would continue to feel the effects of the attacks later in life.
“While these young women are receiving therapy that they will likely need for years, someone should cover the cost for them,” said Randall, who is a mental health therapist by profession, specializing in substance addiction.
The special grand jury report said that “adherence to operating in silos” by school administrators and “a breakdown in communication” that included the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, the Court Services Unit and the Office of the Commonwealth prosecutor, led to the second assault in October 2021 at Broad Run High School. It happened after several people, including the attacker’s own mother and grandmother, tipped off law enforcement about the then 15-year-old boy.
Randall focused on the victims: “What happened to them is a tragedy. They failed on many levels, and if it can happen to them, it can also happen to other people.
According to a source familiar with the dismissal, since he was terminated without cause, Ziegler’s contract stipulates that he will receive his annual salary of $323,000 and severance for the following year, in monthly installments. His compensation includes an annual car allowance of $12,000, health insurance and retirement benefits.
As of Wednesday morning, Ziegler and the school board did not comment on the dismissal.