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BOE to spend more for safety

  • Published in Local

MoCo BOEROCKVILLE — In light of recent shootings at schools in Parkland, Florida and St. Mary’s County, Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Jack Smith said he plans to ask for more funding to increase security at schools.

While officials from the Montgomery County Board of Education said they were already in the process of updating security at schools recent school shootings have made administrators reevaluate school’s security needs.

As County school officials were in the process of reviewing schools’ safety infrastructure, training for staff and violence prevention programs, they said the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida and at Great Mills High School in St. Mary’s County gave them pause.

“One thing we feel that we have to do is, in light of the tragedies Florida and St. Mary’s, go back out to our schools again and do another assessment – a facility assessment – both school facilities as well as non-school facilities,” said Andrew Zuckerman, chief operating officer for Montgomery County Public Schools.

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Local students march on Washington

  • Published in Local

Students march on CapitolStudents march on the Capitol in Washington, D.C. PHOTO BY ABBY CRUZWASHINGTON, D.C.Thousands of students walked out of their high schools today in the Washington D.C. area. Students first walked out of their high schools, marched towards the nearest metro stops, rallied at the White House, and then finished their protest at the United States Capitol. 

"I protested today because I know there are a lot of students, children, and people who feel unsafe in their school," said Honor Kalala, 17, a senior at Montgomery Blair High School and one of the student leaders today. "It's not only about kids in school; it's about people on the street. I’m just not okay with it!" she said.

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Gun advocates and control supporters rally in Annapolis

  • Published in State

ANNAPOLIS — Even a casual observer who visited the House of Delegates’ offices Tuesday could easy deduce the issue of the day by taking notice of the sartorial sameness displayed in the long lines of activists waiting to testify – gun control.

The corridor outside the House Judiciary Committee’s chamber, was packed full of redshirted advocates, gun lobbyists and other Marylanders seeking to add their voice to the debate, whether it was for or against more gun legislation. While last month’s deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida provided new momentum to a longstanding push for more gun control laws, those in attendance at Tuesday’s public hearing came not to take part in the ongoing national debate on guns, but rather to weigh in gun issues closer to home in Maryland.

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MCPS prepared with mental health response to gun violence

  • Published in Local

MCPS logoIn response to the school shooting in Parkland, Fla. which left 17 students dead, mental health is a major concern within the public school community. 

Montgomery County Public Schools is taking a proactive approach to intervene early to prevent similar events from taking place, according to spokesperson Melissa Rivera. 

Within each school, MCPS relies on teachers and school psychologists to interact with students and initiate conversations about violence. 

“We try to help the psychologists to understand how to work with the students and how to talk with them about violence situations that occur,” said Dr. Christina Conolly.

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Personal experience of Florida shooting

  • Published in News

It was almost the end of the school day for 14-year-old Isabella on Valentine’s Day when she heard an alarm ring. The ninth-grader at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. ran back to her classroom, only to discover that the door was locked.

“She started pounding on the door,” but no one opened it, said Isabella’s aunt, Veronica Penaranda of Bethesda.

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Gun control legislation to be reconsidered

  • Published in State

Maryland FlagThe mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida that killed 17 people last week has brought new attention to state bills on gun control and school security as legislators and citizens alike look for answers after a recent wave of horrific mass shootings. 

The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, where a former student walked into the school and killed 17 people with an AR-15 style assault rifle, is the latest mass shooting in the past year which has prompted law makers in the state to introduce a series of gun control measures. 

“Until our national government, Congress and the president make some reforms that affect all states, we can have the strongest laws on the book, people still can get guns legally because there are states with other laws,” said Del. Kathleen Dumais (D-15).

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