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In an “Ingraham Angle” exclusive, Loudoun County, Va., teaching assistant Laurie Vandermeulen claimed the beleaguered district covered up her sexual assault claims and terminated her as retaliation for speaking out.
Vandermeulen claimed a student touched her, groped her and forced his hands onto her privates as many as 80 times in one day, saying administrators simply advised her to wear an apron and hold cardboard over her genitalia as prevention.
Vandermeulen asked another teacher to bring up the incidents at a school board meeting, which she claimed led to retaliation. At an unrelated hearing, Vandermeulen said she and the other teacher were told their contracts would be terminated, leading her to go public at a Tuesday board hearing.
“I have been a sexual assault victim, and for speaking out, I have been victimized again. My termination is nothing short of retaliation — teachers are being intimidated into silence and it’s happening on your watch,” she said at the hearing.
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Ingraham asked Vandermeulen why Loudoun appears to be “engaged in [another] brazen cover-up.”
“It makes no sense to me,” the educator responded. “We wanted assistance in our classroom with the behavior. We wanted mandated reporting to happen. We want our jobs. We want to be there. We want to be with the kids. And, you know, we continued to try to escalate things to get that help. And we lost our jobs.”
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She recounted being given a “small piece of cardboard” to hold in front of her, saying that and the apron were the summary level of recourse the district offered.
“I never could have imagined that it would be like this. All we were trying to do is to help a student that we felt was in need,” she said.
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“And for whatever reason, they didn’t want to do that. They didn’t want to help us with that.”
She said her experience sends a message to other teachers that speaking up about such behavioral violations can put their “job on the chopping block.”