In a groundbreaking move, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin announced on Sunday that he had granted a pardon to Scott Smith, a father who passionately protested against the handling of his daughter's sexual assault case by a Loudoun County school. The incident, which occurred during a rowdy school board meeting on June 22, 2021, had resulted in Smith's arrest and subsequent conviction for disorderly conduct. However, Governor Youngkin believed that Smith should never have been prosecuted and made it his mission to right this wrong.
Following an emotional conversation with Smith on Friday, the governor shared the news of the pardon during an interview on "Fox News Sunday." He expressed gratitude for the opportunity to inform Smith personally and stated, "We righted a wrong. He should've never been prosecuted here. This was a dad standing up for his daughter." Youngkin emphasized that Smith's actions were a reflection of any concerned parent who would go to great lengths to protect their child.
The incident that sparked Smith's protest involved his then-ninth-grade daughter, who had allegedly been sexually assaulted by a biological male wearing a skirt in a bathroom at Stone Bridge High School. Disturbingly, the school had informed Smith that it was conducting an internal investigation into the attack. However, just moments before Smith's arrest, Loudoun County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Ziegler had denied any record of assaults occurring in their restrooms, further exacerbating Smith's frustration and anger.
"The predator transgender student or person simply does not exist," Ziegler stated, a statement that only served to enrage Smith even more. Governor Youngkin echoed Smith's sentiments, arguing that the superintendent had engaged in a cover-up to downplay the severity of the incident. The incident garnered national attention, particularly among conservatives who were outraged by what they perceived as a gross miscarriage of justice.
Adding further weight to Smith's claims, a second attack involving the same suspect was reported later in 2021. The teenage suspect faced two counts of forcible sodomy and was ultimately found guilty on all charges. They were sentenced to a residential treatment facility and were placed on the sex offender registry, underscoring the seriousness of the crimes committed.
Governor Youngkin, who is currently mobilizing for a competitive off-year state legislative election, has positioned himself as a champion of parental rights in education. He believes that parents should have the final say in their children's education, and his administration is cracking down on Virginia public schools that fail to inform parents about their child's expression of any gender confusion while at school.
During his interview, Governor Youngkin also briefly addressed rumors surrounding a potential run in the Republican presidential primary. While he did not make any commitments, his actions and advocacy for parental rights suggest that he may continue to be a formidable force on the political stage.
In conclusion, Governor Glenn Youngkin's decision to pardon Scott Smith, the father who protested against his daughter's sexual assault case, sends a powerful message about standing up for justice and parental rights. The incident, marked by allegations of a cover-up by the school, ignited a national debate and further emphasized the need to protect children and support their families in navigating the education system. As Governor Youngkin continues his political journey, his actions in this case have established him as a fierce advocate for those who feel their voices are not being heard.