The rape of a 14-year-old girl in the boys' bathroom of a public school in Rockville, Md., which aspires to become a sanctuary city, by an eighteen-year-old and a seventeen-year-old, both ninth graders and at least one of whom is in the U.S. illegally, prompted Charles Krauthammer to say this:

It takes an incident like this and the coincidence of it happening during a debate in Rockville, in this area, about becoming a sanctuary city, to make bleeding-heart liberals wake up to the reality of life. This sanctuary-city proposal would probably have passed until this. Now, people realize you can be as generous and humanitarian as you want, but the risks here are great. They may not be a huge number of cases. But it takes only one this egregious.

The fact that this 18-year-old was released by ICE in Texas is scandalous. They should never be released. We talk about the vetting of immigrants from other countries, how about vetting them when they are in the country? I think there’s going to be a sea change in opinion when these cases proliferate, and even liberals are going to think they really ought to protect their own communities and their own children rather than open the doors without asking any questions.

You'd think.

But a vapid news conference by Montgomery County public schools superintendent Dr. Jack Smith, held after five days of silence about what he termed "the incident," leads me to believe that the wise Krauthammer may in this instance have overestimated the power of reality to intrude upon liberal pieties. Even those of us who don't like emoting in public must  marvel at Dr. Jack's calm.

Smith began by saying that the school system over which he presides encompasses 160,000 students in 204 schools and that these schools are "safe."

Just so that you realize how unsafe one school was, here is a description of "the incident:"

Court records describe the merciless and brutal assault by both Montano and Sanchez, who allegedly raped the young girl multiple times, vaginally, orally and sodomized her, as they spoke to each other in Spanish. Blood and male fluids were recovered from the scene by a forensic expert, court records show.

The kindly superintendent said that the school system was "very interested"  in reviewing current procedures to make sure nothing like this happens again. He acknowledged that the alleged victim will experience "ongoing effects for her," but added that schools have "dedicated" security officers, counselors and various administrators to ensure safety, as if hiring more people might be the solution to any problem (excuse me: incident) that might arise.

"While this is a horrific incident," Smith said, "it should not change anybody's mind that these schools are safe. Many people would like to change the conversation and make it more than this incident, but it is not."

The presser included the following:

“We do not know what anyone's immigration status is in the school system because the law says we don't collect that and we don't,” said Dr. Smith. “But of those 25,000 [students who speak another language as their first home language], some are here with different kinds of documentation and some have none. And it is wholly and entirely inappropriate for any of us, anytime, anywhere to say that we are going to deprive a 6-year-old, an 8-year-old, a 12-year-old, a 14-year-old, a 15- and 18-year-old of an education because a horrible incident happened last Thursday in one of our schools.”

The superintendent said they are following the rules of the law in allowing eligible students to attend their schools.

“We do our business by the rule of law in this country and that is what the law says,” he said. “It gives us pretty explicit information about who we should serve and we want to serve them because we know that it would not be good for any child, no matter any circumstance or characteristic, to go without an education in this society and in this community. So it's very, very important that we help all students become productive members of society and it is the requirement. Additionally, Maryland has compulsory attendance laws from age 5 to 17 this year and next year that will go to 18.”

Federal immigration laws, by the way, are not enforced in sanctuary cities.

Immigration poses moral conundrums for a society such as ours, which has traditionally welcomed people, but being willfully blind to reality, including making public schools unsafe and unable to educate children, is morally wrong.

Please forgive me if I am more emotional than Dr. Smith.