Scores of students at Loudoun County public high schools walked out of class Tuesday to protest the county school board’s handling of a sexual assault that has drawn nationwide attention.
Videos showed large numbers of students outside the entrances of all the major county high schools.
Students outside Broad Run High School were recorded chanting “Loudoun County protects rapists.” Video from Loudoun County High School showed a much quieter scene, while students at Riverside High School were chanting outside the entrance to the school.
A graphic circulating online before the protest called on students and teachers to walk out of class for 10 minutes to “show solidarity to victims of sexual violence and demand safety in our schools.”
The student protest came the morning after a juvenile court judge convicted a 15-year-old student of sexually assaulting a ninth-grade girl in the women’s restroom of Stone Bridge High School. The student was allegedly wearing a skirt during the assault.
The case gained national attention after it was revealed that Loudoun County school officials knew about the sexual assault but the student, who had already been criminally charged, was allowed to attend a different high school, where he was subsequently accused of assaulting a second victim.
The father of the first victim, Scott Smith, was arrested following an altercation at a June school board meeting. Smith contends a woman told him she didn’t believe his daughter had been sexually assaulted, precipitating the scuffle. He was charged with and found guilty of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
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Original Author: Jeremiah Poff
Original Location: Loudoun County students stage walkout over sexual assault handling