Letter: Chris Hodges, Broadlands

Editor: It is imperative for School Board members to remember that as individuals elected to represent the local community, they must work to meet the needs of the public and local school district. As a School Board member, it is not about your individual desires or goals, but the collective needs of the community.

That brings us to the situation regarding the independent review of the mishandling of the sexual assaults of two students by another student in two Loudoun County High schools. 14 months after the report was completed by the School Board’s attorneys, it still has not been released to the public. The public has a right to see that report.

At the Dec. 13, 2022, School Board meeting, five of the nine School Board members voiced support for releasing the report in the name of transparency. So why has it not been released? Why has waiving attorney-client privilege not even come up for a vote? In my opinion, it’s about politics.

I believe the reason the chairman of the School Board—both Jeff Morse who was chairman in 2022 and Ian Sorotkin the current chairman—has not brought this to a vote, is because it is an election year. It might hurt the re-election chances of some board members. It also might lead to the dismissal of certain senior LCPS staff. Is it possible they are putting politics ahead of student safety and community engagement? If true, that is despicable. If not true, what is the reason? If there is another sexual assault within LCPS and the School Board did not release the report and the report could have brought about changes that would have prevented the assault, although they can’t be sued, they’ll have to live with that for the rest of their lives. If mistakes were made, people need to be held accountable and learn from them.

I will remind Mr. Sorotkin that his allegiance is to the community and the children of LCPS, not his seat on the board. Being Chairman for the School Board overseeing an LCPS system that has 83,000 students and 12,500 teachers and staff is an awesome responsibility and if he doesn’t have the character and integrity to put the report to a vote, or at the very least tell the public why the report has not been released, then regardless of the consequences, he must resign.

Chris Hodges, Broadlands

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