MCPS officials release findings on Damascus High School hazing incident


The report shows no sign of hazing issues throughout system

ROCKVILLE, Md. (WDVM) — Montgomery County Public Schools released an external review of how extracurricular activities are supervised. This comes after last year’s hazing incident at Damascus High School.

“Wilmer Hale said there’s generally a positive culture that students often don’t know when something goes from good nature to kidding to hazing,” said Jack Smith, MCPS superintendent.

Montgomery County Public School officials just released an external review of after school supervision in high schools, this review stems from the hazing-related assaults.

The report done by the law firm Wilmer Hale found no indication that hazing is a widespread issue within the school system. Several students were recently charged with sexual assault and faculty members were fired after the incident back in October of 2018.

“There were multiple personal actions that I share with the community last spring that the athletic director and the junior varsity coach were let go,” said Smith

The study focused on the whole school system looking at Damascus, Montgomery Blair, Seneca Valley, Walt Whitman and Walter Johnson High Schools. The report suggested that the system should work on fostering a positive culture, supervision during practices, and reporting incidents in a timely fashion.

“How to respond how to prevent and then how to report if it does happen,” said Smith.

The county paid a total of $250,000 for the external review. To enhance safety, school officials say some of the recommendations from the review can be implemented very soon.

“MCPS does a very good job of this but we can do better, we do good work for lots of kids, we can do better and that’s always got to be our message,” said Smith.

MCPS’s budget for next school year will be released in December.

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