Dear Parents and Guardians:
Over the last few days, students from several MCPS high schools have reached out to the district, school principals and administrators to make us aware of allegations of sexual assault that potentially involve MCPS students.
We are deeply troubled by these allegations and we commend our students for coming forward to inform us of these alleged incidents. The safety of our students is our top priority and we are committed to maintaining an environment in which all students can learn and thrive. I want to assure you that all allegations involving our schools and/or students that come to our attention will be investigated.
If you or your child have information regarding an alleged sexual assault, you should notify the Montgomery County Police Department immediately by calling 301-279-8000. Families may also contact the Victim Assistance and Sexual Assault Program (VASAP) for support. VASAP provides information and referrals, advocacy, as well as crisis and ongoing counseling for victims of sexual assault. Additionally, we want to encourage students who may be hesitant to contact the police to take advantage of the confidential Montgomery County Hotline by calling 240-777-4357 or 301-738-2255 (EveryMind). A trained staff member or volunteer will provide supportive listening and information, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Students may text the EveryMind hotline telephone number every day, available between noon and midnight.
Parents and students should report any bullying or harassment by completing MCPS Form 230-35, Bullying, Harassment, or Intimidation Reporting Form. Additional resources for families can be found at: http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/info/bullying/.
We understand that the experiences that have been shared by our students have caused feelings of deep sadness, anger, hurt and disappointment. MCPS is committed to a fair process where all students involved will be provided an opportunity to address the allegations. We ask that you allow the district to gather information. Engaging in public shaming or bullying in response to these allegations is very harmful to all involved and can negatively impact potential investigations.
Thank you for your cooperation and continued support.
Jack R. Smith, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools