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Sunday, December 3, 2023

How a Sexual Assault in a Faculty Toilet Grew to become a Political Weapon


There had been no second rape — the second sexual assault, although it was by no means totally described by legislation enforcement, was charged as a misdemeanor — however by now, the story was quick slipping unfastened of the proof at hand. “A ninth-grade lady, 14, reportedly sexually assaulted in a rest room by a self-described transgender scholar sporting a skirt,” Carlson instructed his viewers. (The lady’s age was acknowledged incorrectly repeatedly.) Laura Ingraham instructed hers: “The rights of transgender college students being put over the rights of normal people.” “I’ve heard you sick, disgusting pigs are high-quality with hiding the sexual assault of a younger lady by a trans boy,” learn one in all many demise threats the school-board members acquired. “You folks have to be arrested, tried after which hung by the neck till you’re useless for hiding this.”

Virginia was within the midst of its governor’s race, and the Republican candidate, Glenn Youngkin, had embraced the mother and father’-rights motion — and embraced its stand in Loudoun County. After the suspension of Tanner Cross, the gymnasium trainer, he went on Fox Information to demand his reinstatement. “What we’re seeing proper right here, proper now in Loudoun County, is the liberal left waging a tradition warfare, and the victims are our kids,” Youngkin mentioned. In June, he held a rally exterior the Loudoun County faculties’ administrative constructing in Ashburn.

His opponent, the previous Democratic governor Terry McAuliffe, had paid little heed to the faculties difficulty. When the topic got here up onstage on the candidates’ ultimate debate that fall, McAuliffe mentioned, “I don’t assume mother and father must be telling faculties what they need to educate.” By the early hours of the next morning, it was the principal Fox Information headline from the controversy.

That day, the Nationwide Faculty Boards Affiliation despatched a letter to President Biden warning that “America’s public faculties and its training leaders are underneath an imminent risk,” citing months of disruption, threats and violence directed in school boards and directors. It referred to as on the federal authorities to “examine, intercept and stop the present threats and acts of violence.” Its litany of school-board-meeting unrest included Scott Smith’s arrest in Loudoun County. The affiliation’s board, underneath heavy criticism from mother and father’-rights teams and Republican attorneys common, would apologize for the letter, however not earlier than Lawyer Common Merrick Garland directed the F.B.I. to debate “methods” for addressing such threats with native authorities.

In his marketing campaign speeches, Youngkin linked the dots. “For months, we’ve seen chaos seep into our faculties,” he mentioned at a rally in late October. “A brand new occasion every week till the unthinkable occurred: Virginia — and America — awoke to the information {that a} younger teenage lady had been sexually assaulted in her Loudoun County college. And worse, the varsity directors coated it up, and Loudoun’s commonwealth lawyer focused the sufferer’s household.”


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