Governor Pardons School Board Arrest Victim

( – On Sept. 10, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced he had pardoned Scott Smith, who was arrested in June 2021 after protesting state-mandated protections for transgender students at a Loudoun County School Board meeting.

Smith was protesting the decisions after his daughter, a high school student, had been assaulted in the school bathroom at Broad Run High School. Smith stated that the teenager had claimed to be “gender fluid” and that the attack happened because of a school policy allowing transgender students to use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity.

The teenager convicted of assaulting his daughter was also found guilty of assaulting a student at Stone Bridge High School, which he also attended. The teenager had been allowed to transfer schools despite the schools’ knowledge of the first incident.

The incident helped fuel conversations around the country about parental rights. During his 2021 campaign, Youngkin leaned on the issue of parental rights.

For his behavior at the school board meeting, he was charged with obstruction of justice as well as disorderly conduct. In 2021, he was convicted of both charges. Though the conviction for resisting arrest was dismissed later by a circuit court judge, he received a suspended sentence of 10 days in jail. Smith had appealed his conviction for disorderly conduct, and a trial had been scheduled for this fall.

In December 2022, a grand jury report accused the Loudoun County Public School system of mishandling the teenager and ignoring warnings that may have prevented the second sexual assault. After the report was released, the superintendent was fired by the school board.

In pardoning Smith, Youngkin stated that in protecting his daughter, Smith “faced unwarranted charges.

In a statement, Smith thanked Youngkin for “his absolute and unconditional pardon.”

Smith also said he would continue the fight “for parents and their children” and would be pursuing a lawsuit against Loudoun County Public Schools.

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