As Northern Virginia's Loudoun County continues to be plagued by a sex scandal, where a now 15-year old boy was able to rape classmates throughout the district, the district is also coming under fire for their policy on mask mandates, which is to suspend students and charge them with "trespassing," a Class I misdemeanor.
On Sunday, Nick Minock reported for ABC 7News that while students who did not show up with masks were sent to the auditorium to be segregated from their peers, they will now be suspended. Not only that, they will be physically removed from school and charged with trespassing.
"You’ve been warned if they come and do not put on a mask they will physically be removed from the property," Mrs. Platt, who has two children in elementary school and one in middle school told 7News. "There was a lot of tense emotion in that room. It was no joke. It seems silly they would threaten a first grader. Or hang college over their head."
Minock's reporting from earlier in the week is consistent with audio from remarks that Janet Davidson, the Assistant Principal of Creighton’s Corner Elementary School, made at a meeting.
Davidson indicates that students will "be held in an in-school restriction situation here at school" until their parents arrive. "It's important that I point out to you that they are not allowed on campus on Loudoun County Public School property, starting tomorrow. It will be considered trespassing."
With the utmost casual tone of voice, she tells another person in the meeting that "we'll look forward to hearing from you via phone so you can let us know when you'd be able to pick them up."
The other person in the meeting asks how long students can be suspended for and is told when they are following the masking policy.
Chrissy Clark, who tweeted the audio, also covered for The Daily Caller further details of threats of trespassing and threats of suspension, which is a minimum of 10 days. Teachers there have also alleged they are being subject to a "hostile work environment" if they don't comply with the mask mandates.
Students in Fairfax County have also been threatened with and faced suspension for not complying with the district's mask mandate. Carrie Lukas, who is vice president of Independent Women's Voice (IWV) and president of Independent Women's Forum (IWF), spoke to Townhall about her experience in the district, which involved her elementary school children being suspended for not wearing masks.
What's particularly outrageous about Loudoun County, though, and has certainly drawn attention, is that students who do not comply with the mask mandate are seemingly facing harsher punishment than a convicted rapist.
That unnamed minor student was last month sentenced to residential treatment and placed on the sex offender registry list for life, something that Judge Pamela Brooks had never previously done before with a juvenile.
However, the student escaped that fate when the judge reversed her decision, as Tyler O'Neil reported for Fox News:
The Loudoun County teen male charged with sexual assault at two separate high schools was originally sentenced to register as a sex offender — receiving a black mark on his record for life — but a judge recently reversed her decision on that, allowing the teen to escape the sex offender registry.
The parents of one of his victims blamed the county's Commonwealth's Attorney Buta Biberaj for letting him off the hook. According to the lawyer representing the assailant, Biberaj failed to follow the proper procedure in requesting the sex offender registration, which enabled the defense to demand a rehearing on that part of the sentence, and the judge vacated the registration requirement on rehearing and did not reinstate it.
"We were always concerned that Ms. Biberaj would not vigorously protect our daughter and seek justice for her and the other victims throughout the court proceeding," Scott Smith, the father of a girl whom the male assaulted on May 28 at Stone Bridge High School, said in a statement on Saturday. "And, it now appears that our fears have been proven true by her utter failure to follow even the most basic statutory procedures required to ensure that our daughter’s predator would be placed on the Virginia Sex Offender Registry list." The judge acknowledged that the court made an error in the original sentencing.
During the rehearing, the assailant's probation officer, Jason Bickmore, opposed forcing him to register as a sex offender, arguing that studies show teenage sex offenders required to register actually have a higher rate of re-offending. Biberaj acknowledged that the registration may "stifle his success," and she requested that the teen be required to register until he turned 30. The judge rejected this request.
"This incompetency by Loudoun County’s chief prosecutor should be a clear indicator of why she cannot handle the job, and why should [sic] not continue in that role in the future," Smith added.
Biberaj's office did not respond to Fox News' request for comment.
Loudoun's Commonwealth Attorney Buta Biberaj was supported by both George Soros and former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who served from 2014-2018 and ran again in 2021. He lost last November to Gov. Glenn Youngkin.
While Biberaj went easy on a rapist, she did charge and seek jail time for Scott Smith, whose daughter was one of those attacked by the 15-year old in question. Smith was arrested at a school board meeting last June for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest after he took issue with the school board lying about the rape incidents that had occurred in the district.
Such battles over mask mandates occur even as Gov. Youngkin had issued several executive orders on January 15, his first day in office, including one to fulfill a campaign promise and dictate that parents must decide if their children will wear masks to school.
Youngkin and Attorney General Jason Miyares, also a Republican, have vowed to protect parents through the courts, though.
On Wednesday evening, Miyares announced over Twitter that he and Youngkin are joining parents in their lawsuit against the school board in Loudoun.