(The Center Square) — Loudoun County Public Schools is being sued by media outlet The Daily Wire for withholding information about its legal settlements.
The Wire’s lawyers at America First Legal say in the suit that “the documents requested are of the type that can be released, and are released by other school districts in the Commonwealth,” citing records previously disclosed by neighboring Fairfax County Public Schools.
The Wire filed a Freedom of Information Act request in early October for “copies of all legal settlements entered into between May 1, 2023, and the present” but ultimately changed its request to “just a financial ledger showing the dollar amounts spent on legal settlements” to accommodate the district saying that the initial request was too broad. It also had other objections related to student privacy.
The school district responded by saying that it had “no records that are responsive to your request,” a claim America First is challenging as a knowing and willful violation of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act “by failing to provide documents properly requested and subject to release.”
Northern Virginia’s Loudoun County has been at the center of many conflicts in recent years that have received national attention, the most well-known being an incident regarding the sexual assault of a female student in a school bathroom by a male student wearing a skirt.
The victim’s father accused the school district of trying to cover up the incident. The assailant was transferred to another Loudoun County school, where he assaulted another student.
The school has been sued over policies that parents say subdue children’s speech, as well as the suspension of one teacher and the firing of another who refused to refer to transgender-identifying students’ by their preferred pronouns. The former superintendent was fired for how he handled the above-mentioned assault incidents, as well as the complaints of a former special education teacher that she had been groped repeatedly by a student.
He was later convicted of a misdemeanor for her retaliatory firing.
The Center Square contacted the school district for comment regarding The Daily Wire suit. In response, the district said, “It is LCPS practice not to comment on pending legal matters.”