Md. School Security Upgrades Approved Following Alleged Sexual Assault
The $1.5 million improvements will include upgraded security cameras and the hiring of additional school resource officers.
Montgomery County Public Schools will set forth a $1.5 million security upgrade project this summer at 22 of its 25 public high schools. The renovations were unanimously approved by the school board on Monday night.
The security upgrades at the Maryland schools come a few months after two Rockville High School students were accused of sexually assaulting a fellow student in one of the school’s bathrooms, reports WTOP.
The alleged 14-year-old victim told police she was walking in a school hallway when the two male students approached her, asking her to have sex. When she refused, she was forced into a boys’ bathroom stall. She claims they both took turns sexually assaulting her.
The reported assault drew national attention as both alleged assailants were in the U.S. illegally. One of the alleged assailants was detained by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Charges were later dropped due to lack of evidence and discrepancies in the teen’s account of the alleged assault.
A safety audit was conducted following the incident, finding one of the main concerns to be the structure of bathroom doors.
After a meeting with Superintendent Jack Smith, Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner stated “Not something that I would have thought of on my own, but Dr. Smith raised the issue as to whether or not the bathroom doors should be more like airport doors, which is you don’t have a closed door so that something like this couldn’t happen behind a closed door. So they’re looking at that issue.”
The $1.5 million improvements will include vestibules near entrance doors, security gates, lock changes, upgraded security cameras, and the hiring of additional school resource officers.
The majority of the renovations will begin this summer and will be completed sometime in the fall.
The district plans to assess the security needs of the middle schools and elementary schools once the project is complete.
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