After two illegal-alien teenagers were arrested and charged with the brutal rape of a 14-year-old girl at Rockville High School in Maryland, Montgomery County Superintendent Dr. Jack Smith is accusing parents and community members of racism and xenophobia. He also claims threats are being made against the students and school.
“While I know this tragic incident has become part of a national political debate, I want to remind community members that the lives of real students have been forever affected,” Smith sent in an email Thursday morning. “While many have chosen to engage civilly in the conversation, far too many have crossed the line with racist, xenophobic calls and emails. MCPS is working with law enforcement to identify those who are making threats toward our students and schools. This behavior will not be tolerated in our community.”
Nowhere in the email was it mentioned the suspects are in the country illegally, with at least one facing deportation, Townhall reports.
Parents have been protesting outside of Smith’s office in recent days and did not mince words about the situation during a public meeting Tuesday night. One parent said he took his daughter out of school last year because of an unsafe environment.
Smith avoided questions about the alleged sexual assault for days and had to be confronted by a reporter in the parking lot outside of his office before finally answering questions. He is in charge of 204 schools in the district.
Meanwhile, Republican Governor Larry Hogan is demanding answers.
“Why is an 18-year-old man in a class with 13 or 14-year-old girls? Why was his status not known to those folks? Why was he allowed to enter the country after he was picked up for illegally crossing the border—both of them? So there are a lot of questions,” Hogan told Fox 5. “My biggest concern is the Montgomery County School System and their lack of cooperation and the lack of information they’ve been providing. Not only have they refused to provide any information to us, but they’ve refused to provide information to the state Board of Education, which specifically requested more information.”
The following is the entire email Thursday from Montgomery County Superintendent Dr. Jack Smith:
Dear MCPS Community:
As you may have heard or read, a serious incident occurred at Rockville High School on March 16, 2017. While I can’t share many details because it is an ongoing police investigation, I can share that the incident involves allegations of rape and the arrest of two students.
The allegations presented in the charging documents are horrible and unacceptable. They do not represent the positive values of our students and school communities. Our thoughts are with the student who reported the incident and her family. Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is committed to supporting them through these difficult times.
Please know that our school staff immediately contacted the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) once they were informed about the alleged sexual assault. MCPS continues to fully cooperate with MCPD and the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office on this matter.
While I know this tragic incident has become part of a national political debate, I want to remind community members that the lives of real students have been forever affected. While many have chosen to engage civilly in the conversation, far too many have crossed the line with racist, xenophobic calls and emails. MCPS is working with law enforcement to identify those who are making threats toward our students and schools. This behavior will not be tolerated in our community.
Rockville High School staff, with the support of the MCPS administration, are working closely with their community to heal after this tragedy. Tuesday night, the Rockville High School Parent Teacher Student Association held a meeting where police and school representatives provided an update on the investigation, school security and MCPS policies. The community used this opportunity to express their concerns and ask questions of the principal, law enforcement and MCPS staff.
In addition to the questions we heard last night, we have received many questions from community members seeking to learn more about our policies. To help answer these questions we have created a web page that includes information and resources about our system policies; frequently asked questions and more. We will continue to update the page as more information becomes available.
MCPS is committed to the safety and security of our students and schools. In the coming days, we will share more about our efforts to ensure the safety of every student in our 204 schools.
Jack R. Smith
Superintendent of Schools