Loudoun County schools chief of staff no longer in role amid concerns about sexual assault handling

The chief of staff for Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) has left his position, prompting questions about the district’s compliance with federal law and handling of two sexual assault allegations.

In a statement to Fox News on Wednesday, LCPS spokesperson Wayde Byard said that the position was “vacant.” It is unclear why exactly the most recent Chief of Staff Mark Smith is no longer in the position. 

LOUDOUN COUNTY SCHOOLS WON’T RELEASE REPORT ON INVESTIGATION INTO HANDLING OF SEXUAL ASSAULT ALLEGATIONS

Rumors had been swirling about Smith’s departure. On Wednesday, 7NewsDC reported that an unnamed Loudoun school board member said Smith was “gone.”

“He had obligations under Title IX and they weren’t met. He was not a Title IX expert, but it was his job,” the school board member reportedly said. “Someone had to pay and it was him.”

In addition, a LCPS web page previously listing Smith as the chief of staff was removed Wednesday.

LOUDOUN COUNTY SAYS IT’S WITHHOLDING SEXUAL ASSAULT INVESTIGATION REPORT TO AVOID ‘RETRAUMATIZING VICTIMS’

LCPS said last week that it wouldn’t release the results of its internal investigation into the handling of two high-profile sexual assault allegations.

Byard previously told Fox News Digital: “The report is complete. It is being withheld from disclosure in its entirety under Va. Code § 2.2-3705.1(2) relating to materials protected under the attorney client privilege. Furthermore, portions of the record are being withheld from disclosure under Code § 2.2-3705.4(A)(1) relating to scholastic information and Va. Code § 2.2-3705.1(1) relating to personnel information concerning identifiable individuals.” 

Fight for Schools PAC, which is run by former Trump administration official and Loudoun parent Ian Prior, said in a press release: “We have been saying for months that Loudoun County Public Schools violated Title IX and this report confirms that. While it is a positive development to see that LCPS is taking action, the fact remains that the buck stopped with Superintendent Scott Ziegler and the former leadership of the school board.”

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It’s unclear how much exactly how much LCPS Superintendent Scott Ziegler knew about the incident and he’s encountered plenty of scrutiny over the issue. Fox News is not aware of any information suggesting that Ziegler knew any details about the original incident or was involved in the perpetrator’s transfer to another school.

LCPS did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s question about Fight for Schools PAC’s statement. 

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