Loudoun school board sues in effort to halt grand jury work
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — The Loudoun County School Board has asked for a temporary injunction that would halt the work of a grand jury convened as part of an ongoing state investigation into the district.
The board filed a civil complaint Thursday arguing that the grand jury is being used unlawfully and is causing consternation and expense to subpoenaed families and the school system, WTOP-FM reported Friday.
“Loudoun County Public Schools remains ready and willing to cooperate with any lawful inquiry by the Virginia Attorney General. However, we believe that the scope of the Attorney General’s investigation is overly broad and holds significant potential to invade the privacy of our students, staff, and families. LCPS also believes the investigation violates our locally elected School Board’s constitutional authority to govern,” the district said in a statement provided Friday to The Associated Press.
GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin issued an executive order on his first day in office authorizing an investigation of the school district by Attorney General Jason Miyares. Both men campaigned on a promise to investigate the district’s handling of the case of a student found guilty of sexually assaulting classmates at two separate schools.
A school district spokesman acknowledged to local news outlets in April that the grand jury had been convened and said the system would cooperate with “lawful requests.”
The complaint argues that Youngkin’s executive order was unlawful and that the authority to empanel a special grand jury is limited to the local commonwealth’s attorney and her designees.
A spokeswoman for Attorney General Jason Miyares said the district’s filing was a “waste of taxpayer money” and the investigation will continue.
“Asking for an injunction is just the latest in a series of efforts to prevent the citizens of Loudoun from learning the truth about conditions existing in Loudoun County public schools that promote criminal activity, proving this investigation is warranted and necessary,” Victoria LaCivita said.
Macaulay Porter, a spokeswoman for Youngkin, said the school board had “failed to address sexual assault incidents” and “continuously let down students and parents.”
“It comes as no surprise that they now want to end the very mechanism designed to investigate and expose their misconduct,” she said.
According to the filing, records and testimony have been subpoenaed regarding the district’s transgender policy, Title IX, Facebook posts, and educational accommodations for students with exceptional needs, the station reported.