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Important Message from Superintendent Jack Smith Regarding Damascus High School
Dear MCPS Community:
I am writing to share information about a serious situation in our Damascus High School community. As you may know from the news, five Damascus High School students have been charged with second-degree rape and attempted second-degree rape. These charges stem from alleged behavior by members of the junior varsity football team in the school’s male locker room after dismissal.
As Damascus principal Casey Crouse shared with her community earlier this week, this alleged behavior is disturbing, inappropriate and unacceptable. In response to these allegations, the Damascus High School junior varsity team forfeited their final game of the season last Thursday. MCPS does not and will not tolerate any form of hazing, bullying or harassment in our schools.
I know many of you have questions about these allegations. The Montgomery County Police Department’s investigation related to these serious charges is ongoing; therefore, to avoid interfering with their work, I cannot share any additional information at this time. However, please know that MCPS is fully cooperating with law enforcement.
Our thoughts are with the Damascus community during this difficult time. Counselors will be available at the school next week to support students.
As a county, we pride ourselves in being caring and showing concern for others. Let us live up to this standard by showing kindness and compassion to the Damascus community with our words and our actions. We encourage everyone to avoid spreading rumors online or in person. Not only can these rumors be hurtful, but they can also be a distraction to the investigation. If you believe you have information regarding the alleged incident, please contact the Special Victims Division of the Montgomery County Police at 240-773-5400.
Next week, MCPS will be speaking with students across the county about issues of hazing, bullying and harassment to ensure they know this type of behavior is not acceptable and they know how to report if they see or experience it.
Thank you in advance for your support for the Damascus community.
Jack R. Smith, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
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