Descent into Madness: Loudoun County Edition

by James A. Bacon

Two weeks ago the National School Boards Association (NASB) appealed in a highly publicized letter to President Biden to do something to stop the “threats and acts of violence against public school children, public school board members, and other public school district officials.” Attorney General Merrick Garland said the FBI would respond to the challenge. “Threats against public servants are not only illegal,” he said, “they run counter to our nation’s core values.”

What heinous events prompted the intervention of the FBI into local law enforcement matters? The NASB spelled out numerous “acts of malice, violence and threats” by parents irate about the rise of race demogoguery, transgender politics, masking policies, and pornography in libraries.

One individual in Illinois was arrested for aggravated battery. In Michigan an individual yelled a Nazi salute (undoubtedly in the same sarcastic spirit of the Nazi salute that set off a Twitter Outrage Mob in the Netflix series “The Chair”), and another “prompted the board to call a recess.” In Virginia, elaborated the NASB letter, “an individual was arrested, another man was ticketed for trespassing, and a third person was hurt during a school board meeting discussion.”

According to the news story the NASB linked to, the individual in Virginia who “was arrested” was a certain Scott T. Smith. The video clip below shows what kind of threat he posed to Loudoun County School Board members.

Rowdy? To be sure.

Deserving of being escorted off the premises? Perhaps.

Someone who deserved to be arrested and tossed into jail? That’s a stretch. (If only he’d thought to clad himself in black, wear a mask and call school board members “fascists”!)

A threat to school board members that warrants the intrusion of the FBI into the parents’ protest movement? Nonsense.

That much was obvious yesterday. Today we learn that there was much more to the story than the original reporting of the event. As told by the The Daily Wire, a conservative publication, what happened to Smith, not the school board, was heinous. (You can access the DW story here, but you must be a subscriber to read the whole thing. The Red State blog summarizes the DW story here.)

Smith’s daughter, a 9th grader, attends Stone Bridge High School in Loudoun County. Smith alleges that a boy wearing a skirt entered a girl’s bathroom and sexually assaulted her. (Smith’s attorney told the Daily Wire that the boy was subsequently charged with two counts of forcible sodomy, one of anal sodomy and one of forcible fellatio.) When Smith appeared at school, the account goes, school officials said they were handling the incident in-house. He made a scene, and the principal called the police.

Smith decided to take his case to the School Board. At the meeting, Smith was informed that the Board had no record of any transgender-related rape, and an activist in attendance suggested that his daughter was lying. Boiling over from listening to the woman, Smith engaged her in a heated exchange of words.

Here’s how the “violence” went down, according to the DW in telling Smith’s version: A police officer, there to keep the peace in the meeting, pulled Smith’s arm. He yanked it away. “Before he knew it, he was hit in the face handcuffed and dragged across the floor, with his pants pulled down.”

Commonwealth Attorney Buta Biberaj, who ran on a social justice platform of ending mass incarceration, appeared in court to personally prosecute Smith for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Meanwhile, the alleged rapist was allowed back into the school system… where he committed another rape, according to the Daily Wire.

There is one red flag. The incident occurred against a backdrop of heated controversy over the school system’s transgender policies. A bathroom rape by a boy in a skirt would confirm conservative fears about predators masquerading as transgenders and stalking girls in restrooms. Indeed, the story fits the conservative fears so perfectly — it stands as such a devastating rebuke to transgender bathroom policies in schools — that it sounds too good. Rarely does reality confirm a stereotype so decisively. That’s why I hesitate to denounce Loudoun School officials without getting confirmation of the DW narrative from other sources such as the Washington Post or a local Loudoun County publication.

But if the DW story holds up, then something is seriously, seriously wrong. Loudoun County’s social justice warriors, one might conclude, care about justice for some, not for others.

What the Smith arrest most definitely was not, however, was an incident that represented a physical threat to school board members. In that sense, it appears that the National School Boards Association itself was engaging in paranoid ideation. In no way can the incident be construed as justification for FBI meddling in local law enforcement.