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Alexandria officials push back against ACPS ‘cover up’ story

After right-wing outlet National Review broke a story accusing Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) of covering up a sexual assault case, city leaders are hitting back and saying the story misses some critical details.

The story, which was widely shared on social media, said a 14-year-old suspect was arrested in December for aggravated sexual battery, rape and forcible sodomy in connection to an October incident at the Minnie Howard campus of Alexandria City High School. The article also includes quotes from parents who said they were left in the dark and there was no communication about the issue.

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In the aftermath of the article, ACPS social media posts were flooded with comments referencing the article and accusing ACPS of a cover-up. Local leaders, however, say the National Review article misconstrues what happened.

A release from the City of Alexandria notes that the defendant in the case was acquitted in court and, pursuant to state law, details of incidents involving juveniles must remain confidential.

The incident was, however, brought up at a March School Board meeting detailing security incidents that took place during the last school year. The National Review article acknowledges the meeting but criticizes school leadership for raising the incident as an “aside” and for not responding to parents asking questions about the incident.

The story broke not long after Superintendent Gregory Hutchings advised School Board members not to speak directly with the media.