ROCKVILLE, Maryland March 21, 2017 – From one talking head to the next, the leaders of Rockville High School, the MCPS, and even the Rockville police all failed to use two important words in addressing the alleged brutal rape of a 14-year-old student in a school bathroom by two alleged illegal immigrants, aged 17 and 18.
Those being, obviously, rape and illegal. Instead, it was referred to as the “event” or the “unfortunate incident,” and the men were referred to as simply “students.”
While highlighting the school, the security guards, the warm relationship the students and adults at the school have; while highlighting that the school has 105 cameras keeping an eye out on our most precious cargo and that the Principal Dr. Billie-Jean Benson has a birds eye view of what is happening not only in the parking lot but that every day at lunch she and all the other teachers are out in the halls, interacting with the students, getting to know them, their routines, they failed to address why they were not keeping an eye on two students, fresh to this country, who are most likely illegal immigrants that we can assume have minimal command of the English language and understanding of our American culture.
With all that expertise at their disposal, they failed to keep track of two men illegally immigrating from the hardscrabble life they lived in El Salvador and Guatemala to the Washington D.C. suburbs, placed in and among kids with their iPhones and designer shoes, who may very well have seemed privileged to them.
Henry E. Sanchez, charged as an adult, was born in Guatemala*, where he lived for 16 years before illegally entering the U.S. Sanchez just 13 days before his 18th birthday; had he been 18, instead of being released into the U.S., he would have been returned to Guatemala as an adult. He has a pending immigration case.
ICE officials are not yet providing information on Jose O. Montano’s of El Salvador immigration status because he is, technically, a juvenile. Media reports are that neither individual has had a prior incident with the school or the police in the area.
But we have to consider that these “teens” may have traveled a distance of 5,000 or more often treacherous miles where they may have encountered violence, hunger, and predators to find themselves at Rockville High School surrounded by kids who may have seemed to have everything. Kids who never walked farther than a few blocks to school, and only if it is not raining.
And it would seem that the school would have more than a language class to offer to make sure these students are able to acclimate and assimilate into our society.
Living in the community, knowing many of the students and parents, that are members of the Rockville High family, it is a good school. The teachers and principal are good people.
They clearly expressed that they care for their students.
It seems, while we were learning about all the wonderful and positive things, all the safeguards and careful eyes that are on the children – including a fun game the teachers, administrators and security staff play on who can name the next three kids to walk through the door – they managed to miss getting to know Sanchez, 18 or Montano, 17.
It seems before this “event” they seemed rather oblivious to the reality of the school’s predicament, seeing the sunshine, of which admittedly there is plenty, but not the storm of illegal immigration. Is it just that they never imagined that this type of thing would happen to them.
Parents at the event, and this, not a rape, is an event, are wondering if maybe they should have.
According to Captain Jim Humphries, Montgomery County Special Victims Investigations Division, who addressed the filled auditorium, both men are charged with one count first-degree rape and two counts of first-degree sexual offense.
Published police reports are that the alleged offenders approached the victim in the hallway and asked her to walk with them. Montano asked the victim for sex, and after she had refused, he and Sanchez forced her into a boys’ bathroom, where they both raped her and sodomized her, police said. It was confirmed during tonight’s public meeting that the bathroom where the attack took place locks from the inside leading listeners to believe it was locked during the attack. Principal Jenson said it was a bathroom usually not left unlocked as it is a bit off the beaten path, but when students are using facilities nearby it will be unlocked as the next nearest bathroom is “…around the corner, down the stairs, then down the hall,” or words to that effect.
Dr. Jack Smith, superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) since July 2016 addressed the crowd speaking solemnly saying that “I am so sorry we have to meet this way. It makes me sick to have to our meeting in this situation,” then referencing his children and grandchildren.
He further stated in part “This is a horrible event, but it is an event, not a defining moment as to who we are … we have to push back and say it won’t happen again…but it does not define how we think of people that don’t speak English or have documentation… we are not going to paint all students of a skin color with a broad brush … and the facts will come out.”
During the question and answer period, after being asked what type of counseling and possible compensation the victim may receive, Smith assured the audience that all counseling and support services would be available to the student, but, he reminded us, that we have not seen the videotapes, nor do we, the audience, know what happened, but that he had (seen the tapes).
It seemed to me, as well as others around me, that he was implying that the victim may have been in some way responsible for the “unfortunate incident” that happened. Time and information will tell us if that feeling is true.
Mr. Smith also commented on what he called incorrect messaging out of the White House, causing some audience members to chuckle, however in searching Monday’s news, the only comments made were from Press Secretary Sean Spicer who said crime is just one aspect of the open immigration policy.
“I think part of the reason that the president has made illegal immigration and crackdown such a big deal is because of tragedies like this,” Spicer said. “We act so many times when we talk about this and say why is the president dealing with this, because of this priority. Well, part of the reason is because of the tragedy that this young girl dealt with, had inflicted upon her, whatever the word is, but this is why he is passionate about this.”
“Let’s remember the human side of this, that this is a tragic event that no child, no person, no parent should ever have to deal with,” Spicer said. “School should be a place where a parent puts their child on a bus or drops them off or sees them off and knows that they’re safe.”
With our present illegal immigration crisis in Montgomery County which is declaring as a sanctuary county, the onus for the safety of our students now lies with the schools.
One parent, during the question and answer period, asking why, if there are 105 cameras and a security staff, one of those staff members are not watching the live feeds? A good question as, while having the video tapes as proof of a crime, helps after the “incident”, they do nothing to prevent it.
Another parent suggested that the good student’s of Rockville, with their smartphone technology, should be given an emergency number to call so that if they see something, they can quickly say something.
Montgomery County, and the city of Rockville’s dalliance with illegal immigration, and the violent MS13 gang out of El Salvador is a decade plus long.
“People are angry, people are nervous, people are concerned,” County Council President Roger Berliner said Monday morning during his weekly press conference. “I’ve gotten some very ugly emails accusing us of being a sanctuary county.”
The county and City of Rockville policy states police officers are not to ask about immigration status during interactions with citizens, however breaking from a true sanctuary city description, both the city and county will share information about individuals who are arrested with federal agencies such as the FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). But that may be changing as Rockville and Montgomery County votes to become sanctuary environments.
Some local residents believe the county’s immigration policy and welcoming statements toward undocumented immigrants have made the county a destination for individuals entering the country illegally.
The argument goes back to 2005. The Washington Times reported on then County Executive Doug Duncan and his open arms policy toward illegal immigration (Taxpayers also will feel Duncan’s compassion)
Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan is urging his part of the state to roll out a welcome mat to illegal aliens after returning from a fact-finding mission to El Salvador.
Mr. Duncan thinks we must express compassion to those who enter our country illegally. He thinks we must be tolerant and enlightened, warm and hospitable. He sees the issue of illegal immigration as being incredibly complex and multilayered, and anyone who expects government officials to enforce the laws of our land is a small-minded Neanderthal incapable of grasping the nuances of it all.
Mr. Duncan says we cannot send the illegal aliens back to El Salvador, because there are no jobs there. We just can’t break up families that way. That is just not nice. That is just not the American way. And all these illegal aliens want to do is work, except for the gang members who want to stick graffiti on walls and deal in mayhem and make babies in order to secure your tax dollars.
Conveniently enough, Mr. Duncan does not object to spending your tax dollars. Why, he feels obligated to spend more tax dollars in an attempt to provide the citizenry, legal or otherwise, with all the necessary public services.
Being the humanitarian that he is, Mr. Duncan wants to reach out to the gangs plaguing Montgomery County. He wants to find more tax money to counsel the youths and show them that there is a better way. He is opening his heavy heart, and your wallet, to the downtrodden of El Salvador, because that is the kind of public official he is.
“I want us to be an open and welcoming community,” he says.
Once an illegal immigrant is here, whether they are undocumented or if they are categorized as an unaccompanied minor, public schools are constitutionally mandated to provide a free public education to all children.
The Supreme Court in Brown vs. The Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483, an important, and landmark, case in which the Court declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students to be unconstitutional.
This means that the schools are required to provide an equal educational opportunity no matter what their race, ethnic background, religion, or sex, or whether they are rich or poor, citizen or non-citizen.
And while this is as it should be, the issue of a students immigration status is also addressed by the Supreme Court in Plyler vs. Doe in which immigration status, including pending immigration proceedings, does not preclude enrollment in public schools.
It does not exclude it either, and it is apparently this leeway in the law that MCPS relied on in placing these “students” in a 9th grade high school class instead of an adult education program. This apparent justification of their policy by MCPS has now led to tragic results.
Our schools need to be better educated and equipped on the reality of clashing cultures because this brutal rape should not be swept under the rug as an isolated incident, until it happens again.
And now, as predicted in 2005, are we reaping what we sowed.
And while the price for our lack of understanding the difference between an American teen and a man that has survived a brutal life, has been paid with rape of one young girl in Maryland as The Washington Times wrote in 2005
“Montgomery County is going to be a densely populated, resource-eating, crime-plagued enclave that eventually drove out many of the old-timers because of compassion fatigue.”
Writer note: All quotes from the meeting are paraphrased and not necessarily direct, however all efforts were made to keep their general meaning correct. Indented quotes are direct.
Article update to correct countries of origin for Mr. Sanchez and Mr Montano