MCPS students raise sexual assault allegations on social media


June 26, 2020, 6:10 p.m. | By Rajit Mukhopadhyay Lucie Peyrebrune | 1 month, 1 week ago

Students from several schools in MCPS recently posted sexual harassment and assault allegations on social media


Since Sunday, June 21, multiple students from both Montgomery County high schools and middle schools have made sexual harassment, abuse and assault allegations against their classmates on social media. 

According to Bethesda Magazine, students from at least 12 schools have made allegations, many of whom attend Blair. Bethesda Magazine reported that an MCPS spokeswoman told them the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) will be leading the investigation into the allegations. 

Several students expressed concerns about the administrative response from Principal Johnson on Twitter and Instagram. Some students later reported that they had been blocked. 

On Friday, June 26 at 3:43 p.m., Blair Principal Renay Johnson sent an email to the Blair staff explaining that she contacted the police and central office officials when the allegations were first brought to her attention. "My staff and I have called families and conducted wellness checks on students. I have been in close contact with the police and central office staff to address Blair students’ allegations," Johnson wrote.

In a letter sent home, MCPS Superintendent Jack Smith encouraged parents and students with information regarding cases of sexual assault to contact the MCPD and the Victim Assistance and Sexual Assault Program (VASAP), and also provided victims and their families with additional phone numbers to contact for support.

On Sunday, June 28, Johnson released a letter for Blair families. She acknowledged the situation and explained the actions she had taken to address it as she had previously done in the email to her staff. She also asked for victims of sexual harassment or assault to come forward and report their stories to the police and to COS-TitleIX@mcpsmd.org "so school officials can appropriately address the concerns." 

Johnson wrote that the Blair administration takes all allegations seriously, and are committed to "a fair process where all students involved will be provided an opportunity to address allegations." 

She furthered that she is not allowed to share confidential information about the allegations or investigation. "We want to ensure that we do not compromise any potential investigations moving forward," Johnson wrote.

On July 1, the Smith updated his initial response to explain MCPS initiatives for combating sexual harassment and assault. "I have also asked that we take a deep look into the culture that exists in our schools and how it may differ from the values we hold as a school system." he wrote.

The Superintendent included a list of additional resources for the MCPS community to share information separate from school administrators and police. This included multiple reporting tip-lines, MCPS offices, and the MCPS Bullying, harassment, or Intimidation reporting form.

This is a fluid story and updates will be added when available.



Last updated: July 21, 2020, 11:22 p.m.


Tags: MCPD MCPS sexual assault allegations sexual abuse

Rajit Mukhopadhyay. Hey, this is Rajit. As a Blair junior you can often find me playing tennis, hanging out with friends, or in the 240s hallway traffic jam. More »

Lucie Peyrebrune. Hi! I play basketball for Blair in addition to running cross-country and track. My favorite track event is the 300m hurdles. In my free time, I’m usually running, reading, watching TV or hanging out with friends and family. Feel free to check out some of … More »

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