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New York Times Wades Into Loudoun County Controversy

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The New York Times published an article Sunday on the Loudoun County Public Schools controversy after a month of near silence on the sexual assault scandal that made national headlines.

The article argued that race was a driving factor in this year’s events in Loudoun County and characterized parents’ resistance to policies that allow students to choose bathrooms based on gender identity as being pushed by “evangelical Christians.”

The NYT article quoted Beth Barts, a former Loudoun County school board member, on the changing racial demographic of Loudoun schools. “Whites are now less than half our student population … It was important that we recognize that, and we teach that other voices should also have a place at the table,” she told NYT. “They feel threatened.”

Barts resigned in October after she was accused of holding illegal meetings and exposing confidential information of parents who opposed her agenda.

The author downplayed the rape incident which drove much of the media coverage surrounding the county. “The two students had an ongoing sexual relationship and had arranged to meet in the bathroom. The crime, which took place before the transgender policy went into effect, was not a random assault,” the author wrote. “But the narrative had been set.”

The Loudoun County school board was the subject of national discussion throughout 2021 as it considered hot-button issues, including transgender student policies. News broke in October of a May sexual assault of a female student by a male student wearing a skirt in a school restroom.

In a June meeting related to a school policy that would allow students to choose which bathrooms they use based on gender identity, the superintendent claimed that there had never been a sexual assault in a Loudoun County school restroom. A May 28 email informed the superintendent of the case, according to WTOP News.

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