Rockville rape sparks questions and national attention

Should undocumented immigrants be allowed to attend public schools?

ROCKVILLE, MD (WUSA9) - The rape of a 14-year-old Rockville High School student inside the school last week is sparking national debate.

Some are outraged the alleged rapists, ages 17 and 18, are attending the school as recent immigrants, with police confirming the older one being undocumented.

Others are asking how could this have happened in a place where students should be safe.

RELATED: Rockville HS parents express concerns over rape case

And still others, including several students, are thinking about the 14-year-old victim who went through the traumatic attack.

Police are still investigating, and the two suspects, 17-year-old Jose Montano and 18-year-old Henry Sanchez, are being held without bond.

Rockville High School held a meeting last night to answer parents questions.

At the meeting, Rockville High school principal Billie-Jean Benson said, "A horrible crime which occurred at Rockville High school has rocked us to our core and for that I am so deeply sorry."

Several of the questions had to do with the alleged rapists' immigration status.

"This is not a conversation about immigration, this is a conversation about the horrible event that happened to the young woman in the school," said Superintendent Dr. Jack Smith. 

School administrators say by law, they have to offer public school education to any student who can show proof of residency in the county, ages five through 21. They say they don't ask immigration status.

RELATED: Superintendent doesn't want focus on immigration status in HS rape case

The other big question was about every day security, and how this could have happened. The school confirmed they have one School Resource Officer assigned full time.

"He's there but he cannot be everywhere at once and this event took place in an area down by the gymnasium which is a little more secluded than the main hallways of the school," said Montgomery County Police Captain James Humphries. 

Benson said they have five other security personnel in staff and 105 cameras. Police say they're not manned 24/7.

Senior Mia Krawczel says she feels safe.

"There are strict bathroom policies now, some teachers are in the hallway more, watching us," she said. 

RELATED: Threats called in to Rockville HS after rape allegation

Dr. Smith said in Tuesday's meeting that they're doing an intensive review of security, looking for gaps and holes.

This crime was referenced by White House Press secretary Sean Spicer Tuesday and referred to by a Republican senator in a hearing on Immigration and Customs Enforcement staffing Wednesday. 

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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