ROCKVILLE – Rockville Police charged three 17-year-old boys with second-degree assault of a 15-year-old during a high school protest in downtown Rockville Nov. 16 , police spokesperson Maj. Eric Over said.
Police reviewed additional video footage of the incident in order to identify the individuals involved and determine the charges, Over said. The case will be passed on to the family crimes division of Montgomery County Police.
“Family crimes division will get a copy of the report, and they’ll pull the videos,” Over said. “It could be a matter of weeks.”
Police identified one suspect the afternoon of the incident but couldn’t charge that person until all suspects had been identified and the investigation was complete, Over said.
Hundreds of students gathered in downtown Rockville the morning of Nov. 16 for a protest against the election of President-elect Donald Trump (R).
Police said a scuffle during the protest resulted in one student who supported the president-elect to suffer scratches and swelling.
According to police, the 15-year-old boy chanted “Build that wall! Build that wall!” The assailants then charged at the 15-year-old.
The first boy was wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat, police reported.
MCPS spokesperson Gboyinde Onijala said MCPS will discipline students involved in the incident based on the student code of conduct, once Rockville City Police concludes its investigation.
The MCPS superintendent said in a video posted on the MCPS website Thursday he expects students not to leave campus to protest but to remain in their classes, or else they may face disciplinary action.
“Our goal is to keep students safe, under adult supervision and engaged in the learning process,” MCPS Superintendent Jack Smith said. “It is for this reason that I am asking and expecting all students to remain in school and participate in the daily education program as intended.”
Smith said this week’s protests brought safety concerns pertaining to student activity off campus.
“While MCPS supports the right to assemble and respectfully express themselves, these demonstrations have unfortunately generated valid concerns regarding the security of students outside of our schools,” Smith said.
Students who continue to take part in protests outside school grounds will be disciplined according to the student code of conduct, Smith said.
MCPS spokesperson Gboyinde Onijala said all students should have received the video in an email.
Although the superintendent said he expects students to remain in class, at the Board of Education meeting Tuesday he offered other means of protest that could be part of learning.
“I know leaving school can be exciting and emotions are high but if you really want to do something, write letters. Send emails. Make telephone calls,” Smith said
“Whatever your position is on a new policy … make your points heard in a proactive, positive way so you can state what you want to see happen.”