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MoCo students share concerns with County Council at Youth Summit

  • Published in Local

SILVER SPRING — In a room full of Montgomery middle-school and high-school students, Hailey Gordon, 15, a sophomore at Watkins Mill High School, said she is frustrated with her teachers. 

“It just frustrates me a lot because what I want to do, people make it seem like it’s not really possible,” said Gordon. “I just want to make art and sell it to people, but I’m always like, told that’s it kind of like you’re going to want another plan because that’s probably not going to work [well] for you or not going to work at all,” Gordon said when asked what makes her frustrated in school.

Montgomery County Department of Recreation hosted its fifth annual Youth Summit at the Silver Spring Civic Center for middle- and high-school students to share their experiences, complaints, and concerns with County Council members and other local officials during a town hall-style meeting. One by one, students from different schools, ages, and backgrounds discussed what was troubling them. Issues ranging from bullying and underqualified teachers to cafeteria options were all discussed by the students.

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The Safe Passage Center: helping families stay together

  • Published in Local

IMG 2668The front door of the Safe Passage Center in Rockville, MD PHOTO BY ABBY CRUZIn 2007, Gail Pumphrey and her three children David, 12, Meagan, 10, and Brandon, 6, were shot and killed by their father on Thanksgiving Day during an unsupervised court-ordered visitation exchange at Unity Neighborhood Park in Montgomery County. 

Janet Blackburn, 62, sister of Gail Pumphrey and aunt of the Brockdorff children, believes if a place like the Safe Passage Center had existed back then, that tragedy could have been averted.

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MoCo residents celebrate Easter in Silver Spring

  • Published in Local

Children prepare to take part in a sack race as part of the Easter celebration in Downtown Silver Spring on Saturday.  PHOTO BY ABBY CRUZChildren prepare to take part in a sack race as part of the Easter celebration in Downtown Silver Spring on Saturday. PHOTO BY ABBY CRUZ  SILVER SPRING — Although Peter Cottontail did not make an appearance, Easter in Montgomery County was still full of surprises this weekend as residents enjoyed a variety of events in Silver Spring.

Children of all ages got a chance to enjoy an Easter egg hunt, sack race, egg spoon race, and scavenger hunt at the Civic Building in Downtown Silver Spring Saturday morning. The event hosted by Jesus House DC, a church also located in Silver Spring, was made to bring the community together and celebrate the holiday with one another.

“We are really do this to give hope to the community, to encourage people [to come to the event] especially since Easter is tomorrow we just wanted to reach out,” said Joel Olujide, 17, a volunteer during the Easter celebration.

Olujide’s mother Chinyere Olujide, an associate pastor at Jesus House who organized the Easter event, said over 700 people registered online to participate. Olujide also said the prizes given at the event included gift cards donated by Chick-fil-A, Dave & Busters, Cooper Canyon Grill, 50 free quarter legs from Nando’s Perri Perri, and tickets to the nearby ice skating ring.

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Students question security at local high schools

  • Published in Local

MCPS logoStudents at Northwood High School in Silver Spring walk along the side of the school towards the main entrance every morning before the first bell rings. With neither an assigned uniform nor a dress code, only their backpacks mark them as students. One by one, each student walks by the security guard without showing identification, without going through a metal detector, and without being questioned about their enrollment at the school.

“I don’t think [security] works, like anyone can really get in like there’s been other people from different schools just come in and show up here,” said 17-year-old junior Christine Leon.

Leon is just one of the many students there who have their own opinion regarding school safety and security; some students say safety is based on which officer is monitoring the building.

“It depends on the person, like the security person but they’re pretty good as far as I know,” said 17-year-old senior Tsion Tesfaye.

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