Several days after the Leesburg Police Department launched an investigation into an alleged sexual assault at Tuscarora High School, Superintendent Eric Williams has said he feels confident that the high school is safe.
Loudoun County Public Schools and the police department confirmed last week that they are investigating an alleged assault involving members of the Tuscarora High School football team. According to a statement released by the school system Oct. 10, administrators became aware of the incident on Friday, Oct. 5. The assault is alleged to have occurred Oct. 1 in a locker room at the school.
In another prepared statement Friday, Williams said if the allegations of sexual assault are true, the behavior will not be tolerated and will result in serious disciplinary consequences, including expulsion.
He also asked people to avoid spreading rumors about the incident. “Out of sensitivity to those involved, and to the larger school community, we encourage everyone to refrain from speculation and from passing on the speculation of others,” he said.
The statement continues to say there is no indication that the alleged incident involves wrongdoing by more than three students. It also said that there is no indication that students’ safety is still threatened.
“Based on the information available to LCPS, including information received from the Leesburg Police Department, we are confident that students are safe and that normal school activities can continue,” it states. “Should circumstances change, this decision will be reviewed.”
Williams’ statement follows an emailed message to parents from Tuscarora Principal Pam Croft on Oct. 11, defending the decision to allow the football team to continue to play their game the previous Friday against Freedom High School. “First, let me say that the alleged incident that has gained so much attention in traditional and social media is isolated and involved a very small number of students. It is not indicative of the Husky football program, its players or Coach Wheelbarger and his staff,” she wrote. “I feel it is inappropriate and unfair to penalize all students of the program for the alleged actions of a few.”
She also urged people to stop speculating and spreading false information about the alleged assault. “I would ask those purporting to tell ‘the true story’ through social media and other means stop and consider the care and time that must be taken to ensure fairness and proper consequences for all involved in this alleged incident.”