In the wake of the alleged rape of a 14-year-old girl inside Rockville High School by two students on March 16, which has brought national attention to Montgomery County’s status as county welcoming to illegal immigrants, Tom Ferleman, a Republican candidate for County Council in District has called for the resignation of Montgomery County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jack R. Smith.
Ferleman called for Smith’s resignation during a rally held Thursday night outside of the Montgomery County Board of Education meeting in Rockville.
A 17-year-old and an 18-year-old have been charged with the rape of a female Rockville High School student. Henry E. Sanchez, 18, of Bel Pre Road in the Aspen Hill area, and the 17-year-old were charged with first-degree rape and two counts of first-degree sexual offense, according to a police statement. Both teens were 9th graders at Rockville High School, despite their ages. It has been reported that both entered the country illegally in 2016 by crossing the border in Texas. Montano is originally from El Salvador, and Sanchez is from Guatemala.
The incident has caused an uproar among many parents in the county, indeed throughout the nation. MCPS has reported receiving thousands of threatening phone calls in the wake of the incident due to the immigration status of the suspects.
“Today our schools are overcrowded, undisciplined, low-achieving havens for violent street gangs,” said the Germantown resident outside the Hungerford Drive headquarters of the county school board before its meeting, in which no item about the alleged crimes at Rockville High was listed on the agenda. “The entire nation now knows us for an alleged rape of a child in one of our schools. Our elected officials have made us the envy of no one and the shame of the nation.”
“And how does Superintendent Smith respond to our current crisis?” Ferleman said. “He calls concerned parents and citizens ‘racists.’ Is it racist to want our laws enforced? Is it racist to expect our schools to be safe? Is it racist to hold our elected officials accountable?”
Ferleman, who announced his candidacy for the District 2 County Council seat in February, is a strategy and innovation consultant with the management and technology company Booz Allen Hamilton.
“Superintendent Smith has failed to manage our current crisis at a level commensurate with his pay grade. Let me remind Dr. Smith, the school board and the County Council that you can delegate authority, but you cannot delegate responsibility,” Ferleman said. “At the end of the day, Dr. Smith is paid to take responsibility for our schools. He has not. I, therefore, call for his immediate resignation as superintendent of our schools.”
Smith has been Superintendent of Schools since July 1, 2016, after his hiring was announced by the Board of Education on February 4, 2016. Prior to taking his post as head of MCPS, Smith was the interim state superintendent of Maryland schools and former superintendent of schools in Calvert County Public Schools in Prince Frederick, Md.