Loudoun County Public Schools
scott ziegler

Former superintendent of Loudoun County (Virginia) district found guilty of retaliation

Oct. 2, 2023
Scott Ziegler, who was fired in December 2022, was accused of declining to renew the contract of a teacher because she had testified before a grand jury probing the district's handling of sexual assault allegations.

Scott Ziegler, former superintendent of the Loudoun County (Virginia) school district, has been found guilty of using his position for retaliation in connection with his firing of a special-education teacher.

WTOP News reports that the charge stemmed from Ziegler’s decision not to renew the contract of elementary school teacher Erin Brooks for the 2021-22 school year. Ziegler was accused of making that decision in retaliation for her testimony before a special grand jury. That panel was investigating the school system’s handling of two sexual assaults by a high school student in 2021. 

Ziegler was found not guilty on a lesser charge, punishing an employee for attending court.

The allegations involving Brooks did not directly relate to the 2021 sexual assaults. Brooks told the panel she’d been groped repeatedly by a 10-year-old student and when she asked for help, school administrators gave her a piece of cardboard to deflect the boy’s grabbing and links to aprons to buy online.

A school principal testified that the student who grabbed Brooks had autism, was nonverbal and had “the cognitive understanding of a toddler,” and that his grabbing was not intended to harm, but to get attention.

The special grand jury went on to issue a scathing report in December 2022, and the school board later fired Ziegler shortly after that.

Ziegler faces another misdemeanor, apparently relating to statements he made at a June 2021 school board meeting after the first of the two sexual assaults by a student in 2021. A trial on that charge is scheduled for February.

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