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Domestic Terrorism, Gender Identity and Sexual Assault: How Will VA School District Controversy Impact the Church?

scott smith

When Scott Smith was arrested during a Loudoun County, Virginia, school board meeting in June, he was called an out-of-control parent, a bigot, and even a domestic terrorist. But now the father is sharing his side of the story, and fellow parents are demanding accountability from the school system.

Like many school districts across America, the suburban county near Washington, D.C. has been embroiled in intense debates about cultural issues including critical race theory and transgender rights. Smith, however, refutes claims that he attended the meeting to harass anyone or to make political or cultural statements. Instead, he says, he was there because his ninth-grade daughter was sexually assaulted May 28 at Stone Bridge High School—in a girls’ bathroom by a gender-fluid boy wearing a skirt.

Scott Smith Says He Was Concerned About Safety

Scott Smith, a 48-year-old plumber from Leesburg, Virginia, described the June 22 meeting debacle in an interview this week with Laura Ingraham of Fox News. He said Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) Superintendent Scott Ziegler denied the existence of a “predator” student and “any record of assaults occurring in our restrooms.” Then another parent—and LGBTQ-rights activist—told Smith she didn’t believe his daughter’s claim. “That’s not what happened,” she reportedly told him, which led to a heated exchange. Eventually a police officer dragged a bloodied, handcuffed Smith out of the room.

The unruly meeting and Smith’s arrest made national news, and the father soon became a poster child for organizations that feared threats in public forums. The National School Board Association mentioned Smith in a letter to President Biden, asking him to use laws such as the U.S. Patriot Act to prevent “domestic terrorism and hate crimes” against public school officials.

Smith’s attorney, Elizabeth Lancaster, says, “If someone would have sat and listened for 30 seconds to what Scott had to say, they would have been mortified and heartbroken.” Smith tells Ingraham, “I am good with gay people and cross-gender people—anybody who wants to be a good American.” He adds, “I went [to that meeting] to find out why our children were not safe.”

Now some people are questioning whether LCPS covered up that assault because it was trying to pass a controversial transgender policy. (It eventually passed on August 11.) As ChurchLeaders has reported, a Christian teacher fired by Loudoun County for refusing to use transgender students’ preferred pronouns recently won a court case for reinstatement.

Superintendent Faces Calls to Resign: Here’s Why

Scott Smith, who faces a jury trial next March related to his arrest, says he’d been advised to keep quiet to ensure justice for his daughter. But last week, he and his wife discovered that the boy suspected in their daughter’s assault faces similar charges at the school to which the district reportedly transferred him.

Public-records requests reveal that the sheriff’s office did file a report and conduct an investigation into a sexual assault at Stone Bridge on May 28. A suspect was arrested but not named because he’s a juvenile. The sheriff’s office also confirms that the same suspect faces charges for an alleged assault that occurred October 6 at Broad Run High School.

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Stephanie Martin, a freelance journalist, has worked in Christian publishing for 28 years. She’s active at her church in Lakewood, Colorado, where she lives with her family.