Attorney Says 17-Year-Old Was Injured in Assault at Rockville High School on March 7th (VIDEO)

Rockville High School

A Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) spokesperson confirms there were two “physical altercations” involving students inside Rockville High School (RHS) on March 6th and 7th, just ten days before a sexual assault was reported in the bathroom on March 16th.

MCPS spokeperson Gboyinde Onijala said both of the earlier March incidents involved female students, and both fights were broken up quickly.

Attorney Rene Sandler represents a 17-year-old student who, she says, was injured in the attack on March 7th. Sandler said the assault happened at 7:40 a.m. just before school was starting.

“She was in the lobby way where it is a very, very heavily trafficked area, dozens and dozens of students and she was brutally, brutally singled out and attacked,” said Sandler. “As a result, my client sustained multiple injuries, including a head injury. This was a very serious assault.”

Sandler said the physical attack on her client was videotaped by other students who were nearby with cell phones. She showed MyMCMedia some of the videos that she says were shared on social media. Sandler characterized students seen in the video watching the fight as treating the violence as some kind of sport, and she’s concerned the public is not aware of what happened.

Onijala says the school’s principal, Billie-Jean Bensen, recently addressed the incidents and videos in a message to students. According to Onijala, the principal’s message was delivered sometime last week, two weeks after the March 7th incident.

In her message, Bensen instructs students “to tell an adult if something unsafe or dangerous to someone is being discussed or planned.”

The principal also asks for change from RHS students when it comes to “taping and posting to social media.”

“It is not funny or right to stand around and watch and video when someone is being hurt,” said Bensen, in the message to students. “This behavior will not be tolerated. We are a family and although you may not know everyone in our extended family we are all affected when social media is used to post horrible and dangerous events or information. Rockville High School is better than that.”

According to Sandler, communication at the school needs to get better.

“The public absolutely needs to know about the truth, about what goes on in public schools,” said Sandler. “And, is this an aberration? I don’t know. But three assaults in two weeks at Rockville High School with a principal who did not mention the other two. The parents of students at that school, the students of the school, the community needs to be aware and adequately and properly informed about the environment at that school, and only then once Rockville High School is honest about what goes on there they can then be accountable and start to implement changes that will put safety first for students. So yes, the public needs to know, the community needs to know, students need to know, parents need to know and there needs to be some changes immediately.”

 

Sonya Burke

About Sonya Burke

Sonya Burke is the Multimedia Manager at Montgomery Community Media (MCM). You can email story ideas at sburke@mymcmedia.org or reach her on Twitter @SonyaNBurke.

Comments

3 Responses to “Attorney Says 17-Year-Old Was Injured in Assault at Rockville High School on March 7th (VIDEO)”

  1. On March 28, 2017 at 5:59 am responded with... #

    It would seem that the inmates are running the Asylum. Yet I am disinclined to fully lay responsibility at the feet of school administrators. In a video game, and video streaming, social media mad society where we and our children stand aloof and video acts of violence, and even cheer them on….what’s a school staff to do? I recommend that we invest in 100% video surveillance of all public spaces in our schools while providing staff to monitor private spaces. Further, I think it’s high time that students’ cellphones be sequestered during the school day. And only computers provided by the school be available for neccessary work. School campuses should be safe spaces.

    • On March 30, 2017 at 11:52 am responded with... #

      Well, forget TEACHERS doing things like monitoring rest room or probably even hallways… not in their union contract! They don’t go to lunch or out on the playground with the younger kids, again, not in their contract. The schools have to hire “aides” to cover those jobs, which inevitably results in a breakdown of discipline. Controversies that begin in the classroom and spill out onto the playground- or vice versa- have no continuity of supervision. Some kids take advantage of this- they know they can get away with things. In the new world, this is not the teachers’ responsibility.

  2. On March 30, 2017 at 5:47 pm responded with... #

    When you engage in violence, injuries occur occasionally. MCPS needs to have a zero tolerance on school fights. Both parties who actively engage in a fight before, during or after school, should be expelled indefinitely. (Winner and loser) Bullies and instigators should be expelled as well. No exceptions or excuses. Education is a privilege, not a right.




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