ROCKVILLE, Md. -
"We should anticipate that there's going to be a problem. Therefore, you don't react; you act proactively,” said Deeds Wells, Rockville resident.
Many Rockville residents are anxious for the completion of a security assessment in Montgomery County Public Schools, after an alleged rape in one school triggered an outcry from concerned parents.
"My younger kids go to a very small school, so I think I was sort of thinking in that perspective,” said Debbie Butcher, Rockville resident. “How could they just be roaming the hallways, and no one know that they're there?"
Superintendent Dr. Jack Smith sent a letter to the community, detailing what areas will be examined by the Department of School Safety and Security.
Among numerous focus points are school security personnel, enhancements to restrict or limit access to more isolated areas of school buildings and technology.
"We need to make certain that we have an opportunity to see what they're doing and how quickly they can do it,” said council member Sidney Katz, District 3. “Obviously, everyone is concerned about safety in schools and beyond schools."
Rockville High did have an increased police presence for the period when they were receiving threats.
An MCPS spokesperson told WHAG that now they're back to normal security with five security officers and one school resource officer on-duty four days each week.
All schools will be assessed beginning with high schools this month. Improvements will be individualized for each school.
"I'm not an expert in this area, but it'd be comforting to see some sort of improvement,” said Dan Sadler, Rockville resident.
But Sadler, like other concerned residents, will have to wait to see changes at any particular school until its assessment is complete.
Over a ten day period in March, three separate violent incidents reportedly happened at Rockville High School during school hours: a fight on March 6, an assault on March 7 and an alleged rape on March 16.
Rene Sandler is the attorney for a 17-year-old girl who is seen being beaten by another female student in videos circulating on social media.
"From the video that we've seen, it was about 30 seconds,” said Sandler, “[which is] long enough for the assailant to grab her by the hair, throw her to the ground, repeatedly beat her and then stomp her three hard times, right into the head."
Sandler said the student has not been able to return to school yet due to head injuries; Sandler isn't releasing the footage of the incident for concerns of privacy of minors and her client.
"What's interesting is, in the lobby area, there was no school security officer anywhere,” said Sandler. “The school resource officer, who is a police officer, wasn't even on-site that day; he was off for two days with no replacement."
The parents of the injured student were the first to notify Rockville City Police of the assault; the SRO filed a report two days later when he returned to work, according to MCPS.
Sandler is extremely concerned with the school's response to both incidents on March 6 and 7; the community was not made aware of either by the principal.
"It's absolutely outrageous that students are more interested in getting the right angle and moving to get the best shot, then to help a fellow student who is in trouble,” said Sandler.
"Prior to these two incidents, Rockville High School had not had a single fight all school year, so I don't think it's a reflection on what's going on at the school,” said Gboyinde Onijala, Spokesperson for MCPS.