Conservative Loudoun County parents clash with Democratic activist

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A woman who is a member of the Loudoun County Democratic Committee (LCDC) got into a heated exchange with a group of conservative activist parents in Loudoun County, Va., Thursday afternoon as controversy swirls around at least one alleged sexual assault in the school district and other charged political controversies. 

The back-and-forth happened at a Fight for Schools event led by GOP activist Ian Prior, which was attended by about two dozen other people. The event was held in front of the Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) administrative building.

As Prior detailed a series of allegations against LCPS and called for the superintendent to resign – and for the Department of Justice to start a Title IX investigation into the school district – the woman stood off behind the cameras without significantly disrupting the proceedings. 

But throughout the event, she repeatedly interrupted Prior by shouting questions or interjections like, “Why would you assume that?” 

There was little interaction between the woman and the activists until near the end of the press conference when a back-and-forth began. 

“You’re here to defend this?” Prior said after the woman, who said she was with the Loudoun Committee Democratic Committee, interrupted him. 

“Yes,” she replied, to which some of the activists shot back, “You are disgusting,” before the woman clarified her purpose. 

“I’m saying that they deserve an investigation, and that this shouldn’t be a witch hunt. You don’t know what the facts are. No one does,” she said as Prior and some of the parents attempted to shout over her. 

“None of you know what the facts are,” she added. “This is a witch hunt.” 

LCPS said in a statement Wednesday that it reported the assault allegations to the Loudoun County Sherriff when the alleged incident happened and is not involving itself in the process “until law enforcement advises LCPS that it has completed the criminal investigation.”

The statement also mentioned that “members of the Loudoun County School Board were not aware of the specific details of this incident until it was reported in media outlets earlier this week.” The Loudoun County School Board did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Thursday. 

The Loudoun County sheriff’s office previously told Fox News, “We can confirm a May 28, 2021 case that involved a thorough 2-month-long investigation that was conducted to determine the facts of the case prior to arrest. This case is still pending court proceedings. The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office is not able to provide any documents that pertain to a pending case.” The sheriff’s office also confirmed that the case involved sexual assault. 

The woman who interrupted the meeting clarified to Fox News after the event that while she is a member of the LCDC, she was at the event in her personal capacity. In a subsequent interview with Fox News, the woman said that she attended the event to see what the Fight for Schools activists “had to say, you know how much was fact and how much was assumption.” 

“And there was a lot of assumptions being made which is what we feared is that, you know, we don’t have the facts yet because the police report’s not available… You’re actually threatening the investigation by making this kind of circus around it,” the woman said. 

Scott Smith, a Louduon County Public Schools parent who alleges that his daughter was sexually assaulted at school, appears on Fox News.

The LCDC itself, meanwhile, attacked Fight for Schools as “disgraceful” in a statement to Fox News. The party said the group is seeking only to use the situation for its own political gain. 

“For far too long Fight For Schools has been using our children as political props, campaigning with Republican insurrectionists like Dave LaRock and seeking to defund our public schools,” LCDC Chair Lissa Savaglio said. “It is disgraceful that they would seek to weaponize an event before we, as a community, have a comprehensive view of the facts. It is clear that rather than respect the victims and the legal process, they are intent on creating fear and division for their own political gain.”

LCPS for months has been at the center of charged political debate on a variety of issues, including critical race theory (CRT). Activists Thursday also attacked the school district on that topic and pushed back against a memo from Attorney General Merrick Garland asking the FBI to investigate alleged threats against school boards. 

Prior said threats and violence are not acceptable, but that the attorney general needs “to do a better job specifying which incidents and what kind of conduct that they are talking about. Because by framing it as harassment and intimidation it is a chilling, unconstitutional memo.”

“What is intimidation? Is that raising your voice at a school board meeting? What is harassment? Is that having a press conference right outside of the school building? I don’t know. You’d have to ask them,” Prior also said. 

Fox News’ Tara Prindiville and Kelly Laco contributed to this report. 

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