A lawyer for Laudan County Schools confirmed that schoolchildren had been summoned to hand over documents for an investigation by the Virginia Attorney’s Office to handle the school system’s sexual assaults that took place last year.
A lawyer for Laudan County Public Schools confirmed that officers had been summoned to hand over documents for the Grand Jury investigation conducted by the Virginia Attorney General to handle the sexual assault system.
Robert Falconi told members of the Laudan County School Board on Tuesday that in recent weeks a number of school staff have received summonses from the office of Virginia Attorney General Jason Miares.
These subpoenas relate to an investigation launched by Order of Governor Glen Yangkinasking the Miares office to investigate how the school board and administration handled reports of sexual abuse by the same student at two different high schools.
Falconi said Miares’ office did not inform him if they were summoning officers to testify or if officers were being asked to provide records.
“Because of this, I don’t know to what extent staff could receive subpoenas, and I don’t know to what extent those staff may have already provided LCPS student education documents in response to those subpoenas,” Falconi said.
Falconi did not believe that the officers who may have given the answers did so with malicious intent, but said that “the summons is really terrible, and they usually say that if you do not comply with the summons, you may be fined or imprisoned.” adding that employees may believe that the right way to process a request is to fulfill it without bringing it to the office.
“The main purpose of bringing these documents to me is to make sure that the LCPS is fulfilling its legal obligations regarding student confidentiality,” Falconi said.
His office will release a memorandum on Wednesday that will advise staff on how to file subpoenas, Falconi told the board.
Falconi said that of the summonses he knows of, there have been several inquiries about specific documents on the education of primary and secondary school students, which he said parents are notified of before any execution.
There are also other requests, more extensive, such as emails that refer to certain terms, including sexual assault, Section IX, or Facebook.
“They also asked for records from school staff regarding personnel investigations … and they also demanded records from both school and central office staff, referring to Policy 8040, which is a policy on transgender students’ rights adopted by the council in 2021, ”Falconi said. .
Before those records are retrieved, Falconi said they are being searched to make sure student records are not included and families will also be notified.
Falconi said inquiries that request deadlines, rather than specific student records, could be thousands of pages of records.
“And we don’t know which students can be included in these records. Until someone has reviewed and reviewed each of these records on the pages, I can assure our families that we will notify them when students are identified, ”he said.
Falconi said he had not seen any of the subpoenas he was aware of that specifically identified transgender students or any other LGBTQ students.
Mike Murila of WTOP contributed to this report.
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