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Outrage over high school rape

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Parents worry for safety while school system defends actions in wake of crime

Sanchez mug shotHenry E. Sanchez        POLICE COURTESY PHOTO

WASHINGTON D.C. – The federal government will take no special actions against Montgomery County or Rockville, according to White House press secretary Sean Spicer, following a rape of a 14- year-old female student at Rockville High School allegedly involving an 18-year-old and 17-year-old undocumented immigrants.

Both Rockville and Montgomery County do not cooperate with federal authorities on enforcing immigration law unless the person is a violent offender.

“Our policy and executive order speak for themselves,” Spicer said, but added there was “nothing special” planned against either the city or the county.

On Friday, police arrested two students from Rockville High School and charged them with first-degree rape, after allegedly raping a fellow female student Thursday morning around nine a.m.

Henry E. Sanchez, 18, and Jose O. Montano, 17, are both charged with one count of first-degree rape and two first-degree sex offenses and are being held without bond.

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The politics of a local tragedy

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Somewhere in this county right now a 14-year-old girl is confused, angry and hurting. Dragged into a bathroom at her high school and repeatedly raped, she has been violated and her humanity torn from her in a way no child should ever face.
An 18-year-old illegal immigrant stands accused of the crime along with a 17-year-old juvenile illegal immigrant – one of whom was facing deportation hearings - and because of who they are the story has taken on national significance.

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Immigrant fear continues

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Local children apparently afraid while at school parents will be deported

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Anxious calls of concern are coming into both the Montgomery School District’s main offices and individual schools as parents work to deal with their fears about whether they or their children might be deported due to their immigration status.

“Parents are concerned,” said Montgomery County Public School District Spokesman Derek Turner. “We’ve heard from up-county, and we’ve heard from down-county,” he said, explaining that the calls aren’t just coming from a few isolated areas.

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Parents and students talk inclusion at local schools

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ROCKVILLE – Montgomery County Public Schools’ parents and students said the school system’s intentions of not tolerating hate are clear, though their levels of satisfaction varied.

Richard Montgomery freshman Isabelle Young, co-founder of school club RM Huddle, said MCPS responded in a satisfactory manner to incidents of discrimination that she and her little sister observed at school. Her sister witnessed a friend who was Muslim being called a terrorist at her elementary school.

“There had been a student, I don’t know where he had heard it from but he had said some pretty nasty things,” Young said, “but their school counselors actually handled it really well and talked to all the kids.”

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Educators, industry leaders and parents talk science

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SILVER SPRING – Montgomery County’s educators, industry leaders, and parents gathered Sunday to discuss expanding science engagement in and outside the public education system.

“People who are involved in their companies, we created an opportunity to meet one another, I think that was the prime motivator for most people who would be here today,” said County Council member Hans Riemer (D-At-Large) who was the organizer of the event.

The first ever Montgomery County STEM Summit took place at the Silver Spring Civic Center. Speakers included representatives from Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery College, the Universities at Shady Grove, Montgomery County Public Libraries, and numerous locally-based science or tech industry businesses and non-profits.

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Teachers lose scheduled grading time in MCPS 2017-2018 calendar

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ROCKVILLE – The Montgomery County Public Schools Board of Education voted unanimously to approve MCPS staff’s 2017-2018 school year calendar that management adjusted to comply with the governor’s executive order, on Monday.

Chris Lloyd, president of teachers union Montgomery County Education Association, said he is concerned about how the new school year calendar will affect teachers’ ability to enter grades into the server and plan for their classes.

“I think it’s going to be very hard for teachers,” Lloyd said shortly after the board approved the calendar and he heard the changes for the first time.

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Parents and teachers express education concerns

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GERMANTOWN – Teachers, parents of students and family members of teachers said at a budget meeting Feb. 15 they were concerned about items such as minimum wage, allocation of staffing, availability of materials and class size.

County Council member Craig Rice (D-2),chair of the education committee, Montgomery College President DeRionne Pollard and Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Jack Smith led the town hall at Northwest High School.

Rocky Hill Middle School teacher Lisabeth Belman said she wanted their concerns to be heard.

“My issue is that teacher voice,” said Belman.

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Leggett proposes investing $2 billion in new school construction projects

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Calling it a critical investment for schools, infrastructure and housing, County Executive Ike Leggett last week released his capital budget for fiscal year 2018.

In his proposed Capital Budget, Leggett said he wanted the County to invest $2 billion in education, most of which would go to school construction during the next six years.

 “This FY18 Capital Budget and amended six-year Capital Improvements Program represent critical investments in schools, jobs, transportation and housing while also being prudent with future borrowing,” said Leggett in a statement.

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MCPS considers budget changes

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ROCKVILLE -- The Montgomery County Public Schools superintendent proposed to change student grade entry, kindergarten registration and staffing of elementary school reading classes.

Superintendent Jack Smith recommended MCPS adopt a new electronic grade entry system, allowing for the elimination of data collection staff in schools.

Janet Wilson, associate superintendent of the Office of Shared Accountability, said the new grading platform, Performance Matters, will allow data from tests outside MCPS to be included with student test scores.

"We can put pretty much all that information into the platform,” Wilson said.

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Council will take up minimum wage, budget following break

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Just six days after their counterparts in Annapolis begin the legislative session for the state General Assembly, the Council returns to tackle priority issues for the County, including transportation, education and the economy.

On the agenda for the Council will be the County Budget, minimum wage and sector plans for Bethesda.

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