ROCKVILLE, Md. - The family of a Rockville High School senior student said their daughter was attacked and beaten at the school earlier this month. The incident happened just nine days before an alleged rape was reported by a 14-year-old girl by two classmates – a case that has gained attention locally and nationally.
Now, the family of the senior student is questioning Montgomery County Public Schools and Rockville High School's commitment to student safety.
The brutal beating, which was captured on cell phone video by other students, has left the 17-year-old girl unable to return to school because of the severity of her physical and emotional injuries.
According to the victim's attorney, she was lured to the high school’s entrance lobby just before classes started. It was there she was met by a 15-year-old student that she says she had never met.
"She was standing up and then was thrown to the ground by her hair and she is beaten in the face, beaten about her body, hit in the head and then here is the teacher intervening, and then the assailant continues to kick her in the head while she is down,” said Rene Sandler, the student’s attorney, describing the video of the incident to FOX 5. “You see the male teacher in the background. An assailant who threw my client to the ground by her hair, she is repeatedly beating her and kicking her while she is down in the head. She is surrounded by dozens of students who are using their video on their phone to document.”
“The school administration specifically said they were not calling the police – again for reasons we don't know,” said Sandler. “After my client sustained these injuries, of course she was the victim of a brutal crime of violence in the school and the school did not call the police or 911 to help her with her medical issues.”
The school resource officer was on leave when the attack happened on March 7, but Rockville police responded, wrote a report and charged the juvenile that day, according to officials.
“He was simply not there and there was no replacement for him that day,” she said. “That school resource officer is a police officer with police powers and he was absolutely absence completely that day.”
The student’s lawyer wants Montgomery County Public Schools superintendent Dr. Jack Smith to address this incident.
“I want a response from Dr. Smith and I want Dr. Smith to contact my client and I want an apology on behalf of the way Rockville High School has handled this and other matters,” Sandler said. “I think it is deserving and I think it would go a long way for the community to feel that students are safe at that school.”
There are still no arrests in the case.
Montgomery County Public Schools released the following statement:
“The behavior in the video is disturbing, unacceptable and is not indicative of the 160,000 students enrolled in our schools who treat one another with respect every day.
We are proud of the teacher who immediately intervened to protect the student victim. All of our staff take responsibility for the safety of students.
Parents of the victim were immediately contacted and the school nurse provided medical assistance until the family arrived and elected not to have County emergency personnel come to the school to examine the student.
Disciplinary action was taken at the school level and law enforcement was involved the day of the incident.
The behavior by the assailant is unacceptable and so is the behavior of those who chose to record and post it on social media. This was a traumatic incident for the student and the exploitation of her pain in the hopes of getting clicks on a social media is extremely troubling. MCPS has been working closely with the family to have videos of the attack removed from social media. We ask that students put down their smartphone cameras and find an adult to intervene to protect their fellow students. MCPS is committed to the security of our students.”