Loudoun County is putting children in harm’s way

October 29, 2021

By Bethany Kozma

By Bethany Kozma in Washington Examiner

I fought to protect my children’s safety. The Left tried to silence and cancel me — but couldn’t.

Five years ago, I stood in front of both the Fairfax and Loudoun County school boards advocating for the protection of my children and others by warning against the adoption of radical new gender identity policies that are now in effect across Virginia and many parts of the United States. I uncomfortably spoke up as a sexual assault survivor, speaking on behalf of those who have no voice or are silenced. Looking back, who would have thought that freedom of speech at a public school board meeting would be such a divisive issue threatening our country today.

The school boards didn’t listen. Instead, both pressed forward adopting radical policies that I cautioned would hurt young women and girls.

Let me be clear: I did not launch an attack on people who identify as LGBT. All people deserve to be loved and protected. My radical feminist and lesbian friends, who have also been silenced publicly, privately affirmed my free speech and actions advocating for female safety and against radical gender identity policies.

For my public stand as a private citizen advocating for children’s safety, I was later harassed and vilified when appointed to the Trump administration. My freedom of speech was dismissed because I dissented with the radical minority.

Tragically, Loudoun County, Virginia, has made national headlines again because of a rape committed in a female school bathroom by a boy identifying as a girl. It was for this very reason that I sounded the alarm five years ago and stood up publicly at school board meetings to help protect against sexual predators.

I’m deeply saddened for those young women who were allegedly sexually assaulted. Their wounds will likely take a lifetime to heal.

Because of the school boards’ liberal policies that didn’t protect students and limited and censored my own free speech, I was left with no other option than to withdraw my daughter from her Fairfax County public elementary school over concerns for her personal safety and privacy. Her former school was allowing a biological boy to use the girls’ facilities without any parental notification. I could only imagine what I would have done if my young daughter was sexually assaulted or attacked in her school.

How many more innocent victims are out there? And how many more victims will it take before something is done to stop these dangerous social experiments on our children by these school boards?

I can empathize with Scott Smith from Loudoun County, the father of the girl who was sexually assaulted by a biological male in the girl’s restroom. His outrage and frustration are justified, especially given that it appears as if school administrators knew of the crime and chose not to act. The Loudon County School Board and administration staff’s lackluster response was seemingly intended to hide transgressions that don’t fit their narrative. They, too, prefer to silence free speech that opposes the radical social agendas they actively promote.

In trying to silence opposing views, the Loudoun County School Board dismissed allegations of sexual assault as a “red herring.” Instead, the board, along with the National School Boards Association, have demonized frustrated parents to further suppress free speech by labeling outspoken parents as “domestic terrorists.” These groups and their allies assert that parents should be silenced and have no say in their children’s education or safety.

What is even more egregious is that the Biden administration and the U.S. attorney general strategically seized on the calamity in Loudoun County and decided to vilify and silence parents. Free speech is no longer free — unless one kowtows to the radical Left’s agenda and ideology.

Our great nation is under attack by those who wish to steal our constitutional freedoms and reduce us to another copy of totalitarian China. We must always fight for freedom, especially our freedom of speech.

Take a stand to ensure your voice isn’t silenced or canceled. Standing together, our message will resonate, amplifying the volume and drowning out the Left’s lunacy. Help protect all of our children, America’s future, so that we can all continue to live in peace and prosperity.

Bethany Kozma serves as Director, Center for American Values for the America First Policy Institute (AFPI).