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Loudoun County schools Chief of Staff Mark Smith out following sexual assault controversy

Loudoun County Public Schools hold a board meeting Tuesday night, Nov. 9, 2021. (7News)
Loudoun County Public Schools hold a board meeting Tuesday night, Nov. 9, 2021. (7News)
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Loudoun County Public Schools Chief of Staff Mark Smith is out, according to an LCPS board member.

The apparent removal comes after the school system’s recent problems with two sexual assault incidents inside two schools.

“He had obligations under Title IX and they weren’t met. He was not a Title IX expert, but it was his job,” a school board member said, according to reporting by 7News’s Nick Minock.

RELATED | Loudoun schools implementing 'improved processes' to protect students after assaults

READ MORE | Teen convicted in 2 Loudoun schools sex assaults sentenced to 'locked residential program'

According to the U.S. Department of Education, “Title IX protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance.”

The county is currently looking for someone with Title IX experience.

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Department confirmed that a sexual assault took place in a bathroom at Stone Bridge High School on May 28, 2021. They said that they arrested a 14-year-old boy in the case. It took place approximately one month before Scott Smith’s arrest at the school board meeting. Smith is the father of the female victim.

SEE ALSO | Teen suspect found guilty in Loudoun County school bathroom assault

And the problems on school property weren't limited to Stone Bridge. On Oct. 6th, a Sheriff’s Department tweet detailed another alleged assault by the same student at Broad Run High School.

All of that led to hundreds of parents' upset at multiple school board meetings on how the District handled its investigation into the initial assault.

On Tuesday, an independent report on how Loudoun County Public Schools handled sexual assaults in two different high schools was completed, but district officials won’t release the report to the public.

Wayde Byard with LCPS cited Virginia Code and attorney-client privilege for withholding the information.

Byard's email to 7 News:

"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."

“Of course, they are not going to release what happened. What happened is horrific. There are so many high-up players involved in this cover-up. It’s just unbelievable," says Scott Smith.
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Loudoun County Public Schools superintendent Dr. Scott Ziegler responded to outraged parents in October. In a statement, Ziegler said although the schools complied with obligations under Title IX about how schools must investigate allegations of sexual harassment and assault in schools so it equally protects both victims and alleged perpetrators, it wasn't enough.

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