FIRST ON FOX: New documents obtained by Fox News shed light on apparent conflict and frustration Loudoun law enforcement had with the school board – including a complaint that the board should have let residents speak at an explosive meeting on June 22.
Emails also show the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) rejecting what it said were “extraordinary” security requests – including an explosive sweep and undercover presence – by the superintendent for future school board meetings. The documents were initially obtained via public records request from Fight for Schools PAC, which has been fighting the school district’s equity initiatives.
In an Aug. 6 email, Superintendent Scott Ziegler requested multiple LCSO deputies, a “five-person Quick Reaction Force (QRF),” undercover LCSO deputies at the administrative building, a special operations team on standby and several other provisions.
Sheriff Mike Chapman responded that same day by arguing that Ziegler’s requests were extraordinary given that the Loudoun County School Board had already set up several security measures of its own. According to Chapman, that included 10 armed security personnel and magnetometers for people entering the building.
Chapman wrote: “[Y]our request is extraordinary and would likely constitute LCSO’s commitment of a minimum of approximately 65 sworn deputies. Despite this, you fail to provide any justification for such a manpower intensive request.”
A woman sits with her sign during a Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) board meeting in Ashburn, Virginia, on Oct. 12, 2021. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)
Chapman confirmed to Fox News that he bolded the words “extraordinary” and “any justification” in the email for emphasis. Ziegler did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
In his email response to Chapman, Ziegler said he was “surprised” by Chapman’s “reaction to our request as it mirrors the resources and support that LCSO provided on June 22.”
He added: “I agree with you that LCSO is the expert on public safety and law enforcement, so the request and deployment of LCSO resources mirrored those of June 22 – a plan developed by LCSO.”
A letter from August also details a phone conversation in which Chapman purportedly defended his decision not to provide additional security. Notes provided by Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) show that Chapman thought the school board was asking LCSO to clean up what he apparently thought was a mess.
Protesters and activists stand outside a Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) board meeting in Ashburn, Virginia, on Oct. 12, 2021. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)
“School board is firing people up and calling LCSO to clean it up,” read a note from Kevin L. Lewis, LCPS’ chief operating officer who wrote the letter.
LCPS declined to comment for this story but Chapman told Fox News he thought Lewis outlined his concerns “accurately.”
Loudoun County school board member Brenda Sheridan looks at her laptop during a public school board meeting in Ashburn, Virginia, on Oct. 12, 2021. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)
Chapman, according to the letter, also said the school board unilaterally decided to limit public comment and beef up its security without consultation from LCSO.
The list of notes also included the following bullet points: “The plan for Aug 10/11 puts LCSO in same position and I won’t be put in that position again.” Chapman purportedly added that he believed people should “have been allowed to speak (reference to the June 22, 2021 School Board meeting).”
“School board is being dismissive of people they don’t agree with,” another note read.
At the Jun. 22 meeting, one of the attendees was arrested in a dramatic scene with footage that made national news. The Daily Wire later reported that the man arrested was a father whose daughter was allegedly sexually assaulted in a high school bathroom.
Some residents have worried that incidents like that will increase with the passage of a gender-related policy on bathrooms and other facilities.