VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – The Virginia Beach school division is conducting a Title IX investigation after allegations surfaced of a sexual assault at First Colonial High School in February.
Spokeswoman Julie Braley confirmed the investigation to 10 On Your Side Thursday. However, she could not say whether any students are involved in the investigation.
The Virginia Beach Police Department said it is not investigating any related incidents, and has no record of corresponding reports from First Colonial.
The allegations came to light on Tuesday evening when Melissa Lukeson, vice chair of operations for the Virginia Beach Democratic Committee and an outspoken supporter of the LGBTQ+ community, addressed the board during its meeting. Lukeson said she obtained emails to board members in a request under the Freedom of Information Act.
“That was my goal in exposing this Tuesday night at the school board meeting, was some transparency,” Lukeson said.
In an email sent on Feb. 9, a tipster wrote to board members asking about an alleged assault in a bathroom.
“It has come to my attention that there was a rape yesterday in a bathroom between a transgender MALE and a female at First Colonial High School. Is this true?” they wrote.
Board chairwoman Trenace Riggs responded, asking for the tipster’s source of the information. Then, on Feb. 10, Title IX Coordinator Robin Reese wrote to the tipster, asking for names of individuals who knew about the allegations, in order to begin an investigation.
The tipster wrote that they would not provide the name of their source, but said that board member Victoria Manning had received the same information. Manning wrote to Reese on Feb. 14 that a community member had told her about the accusations.
“They said a friend of a friend is married to an FC teacher and they said they heard a sexual assault occurred and the significant other of another teacher made the same accusation. I’ve asked this person provide me with names or any other additional information, but they would not do so,” Manning wrote.
Manning sent a text message to 10 On Your Side regarding her possibly not reporting the allegation.
“That is not true,” Manning wrote, “and any reporting that makes that statement or allegation would be defamatory.”
Braley could not say when the Title IX investigation will be concluded.