School Counselor Admits To Sex With Trans Student In Virginia District Rocked By Bathroom Rape

School Counselor Admits To Sex With Trans Student In Virginia District Rocked By Bathroom Rape

A Virginia school counselor pleaded guilty last month to having a years-long sexual relationship with a transgender student in the same district where a skirt-wearing student’s rape of a classmate in a bathroom made national headlines.

Ann Marie Barrett, 43, who is married with two children, was reported by the victim in May 2021, but not arrested until six months later — one day after Republican Glenn Youngkin was elected governor in a huge upset driven by his strong stance on school safety. Although the bathroom rape, first reported by The Daily Wire, animated Youngkin’s race against Terry McAuliffe, the Republican sheriff said the curious timing of Barrett’s arrest had nothing to do with the election.

“I think it’s a coincidence,” Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman told The Daily Wire. “It was actually a very detailed investigation, we had to go back several years from 2016 to 2013. We had to go do a lot of interviews.”

The victim, a biological female, spent three years at Freedom High School before graduating in 2015, according to the plea agreement. Barrett was a guidance counselor, and was assigned to the victim.

“[The victim was] transgender and was living as a male when he began at Freedom High School,” the plea agreement said. “He began the physical and hormonal transition process while he attended Freedom High School.”

After the victim’s sophomore year, Barrett invited the student to go to a playground with her child. Eventually, she invited the student to her house where they “cuddled while watching television. This occurred two or three times, and then progressed to kissing, and then to digital penetration and oral sex,” the plea deal said.

The relationship continued throughout the victim’s time at the school and included Barrett providing the student with passes to get out of class and visit her office. The victim returned to the school in May 2021 for a visit as an adult, and told a teacher what occurred “to ensure that it would not happen to anyone else.”

The teacher told police that the victim “had spent an unusual amount of time with the accused, who would email … teachers to inform them he would not be in class.” The report led to Barrett’s being placed on leave, the quiet, six-month investigation, and the September 16 guilty plea.

“My client has accepted responsibility for this consensual relationship,” Barrett’s attorney, William “Ben” Mann, told The Daily Wire.

The role of school counselors in the lives of gender-confused students has been in the spotlight in recent times. Earlier this week, The Daily Wire reported that a top National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) official, who also works in Northern Virginia, participated in a transgender group that said it would send cash and transportation to children who wanted to leave their homes, and “find you someone who can provide you a kind and affirming home.”

Amy Cannava is chair of NASP’s LGBTQI2-S Committee and has provided training to other psychologists on LGBT issues. On NASP’s website, she suggested that school administrators should shield counselors who were in violation of a pending Virginia state policy saying that schools should not hide a student’s gender transition from parents.

Cannava described the draft policy, which permits schools to call transgender students by new names and pronouns, but only with permission from parents, “horrific.”

A group affiliated with Cannava, Safe Space NOVA, said it did not support the rehoming of students. But she has previously made comments relevant to the topic.

On a podcast called “Out, What Now?” Cannava said “I recognize that parental consent is a big deal, but when I’m doing anything LGBT, I don’t worry about that. … Let’s be honest, it’s an electronic permission slip. You type in a parent’s name and I’m like ‘oh that parent signed consent.’ There’s no actual signature.”

“You have to sometimes break rules to do good for kids,” she said.

Cannava, who said she is “queer” and attracted to “trans-masculine non-binary folx,” said “I had a record day where five kids came out to me. I said ‘this is amazing’ … Most of the time it’s like, ‘I think I’m trans,’ which really means ‘I am trans.’”

She has the backing of the association.

“When our ethical standards are in conflict with policy or law, our standards encourage school psychologists to advocate for change in such policies/laws,” a NASP spokesperson said. “Advocacy is not breaking the law. Amy is not in violation of either the law or our standards.”

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