MCPS superintendent declines to personally address safety concerns at Rockville High School

- Safety concerns at Rockville High School have been raised following an alleged rape and a student beating captured on video in separate unrelated incidents this month.

FOX 5 attempted to speak with Montgomery County Public Schools superintendent Dr. Jack Smith about this at a budget meeting at Richard Montgomery High School, but he avoided addressing it when we approached him before the meeting.

On March 7, a 17-year-old girl was beaten by a fellow student in the lobby of Rockville High School, which was captured on video by some students in the area. The victim's lawyer told FOX 5 the school resource officer was not there that day and police were never called.

Nine days later, two students were accused of raping a 14-year-old girl inside a restroom in the school.

FOX 5 tried to ask the Dr. Smith about what he is doing to assure parents that their children are safe at Rockville High School following these cases. We were interrupted by some people protesting school budget issues, but he declined to say anything to us.

Montgomery County Public Schools spokesperson Derek Turner did come out to answer our questions. He said the parents of the girl beaten in the school lobby did not want police involved initially, but they later changed their minds and Rockville police are now investigating. The girl was tended to by a school nurse, but declined further medical treatment.

Turner did acknowledge that a letter should have been sent home to parents.

“This might have been a human error where we should have communicated with the community and as we move forward, we will think about how we can better communicate with our community, both at Rockville High School and also throughout MCPS,” Turner said. “We are committed to the safety of our students every day and unfortunately we are not able to prevent every incident, but we can respond immediately, and we are so proud of the teacher who stepped in after 30 seconds to break up the attack and make sure that student was protected and safe, and we had a nurse on staff to help attend to the student while the family was arriving.”

We have learned that the superintendent will announce a new review of security procedures at all schools in Montgomery County on Thursday. High schools will be reviewed by April and then elementary and middle schools will be reviewed by end of the year.

They are going to examine things like surveillance cameras, the placement of them and whether there are any blind spots. They will also look into the need of any increase or changes in security staff.

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