Board of Education’s Resolution on Safe and Secure Schools and Communities
We are all living witnesses to the devastation that was wreaked on the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, on February 14, 2018 when a lone gunman walked into the school and shot 15 students and two adults. Today, we stand in solidarity with the community of that school as we express our condolences and applaud the students and staff for their courage in the face of such devastation.
Today, the Montgomery County Board of Education adopted a resolution written and put forward by our Student Member of the Board Matthew Post. For all over the nation, young people are speaking up and forcing a conversation about the prevalence of guns in our communities and the horrendous reality that children are increasingly becoming victims of gunshots in the classroom – a place that should be a safe warm welcoming refuge for children and adults.
Our resolution reads as follows:
WHEREAS, The safety of students and staff is a priority of the Montgomery County Board of Education as safe learning environments are necessary for academic achievement and emotional well-being; and
WHEREAS, Maryland law prohibits firearms, knives, and deadly weapons of any kind on public school property and gives Montgomery County Public Schools the authority to develop and apply stringent regulations and procedures to keep our schools safe; and
WHEREAS, The Montgomery County Board of Education supports efforts to create safer, more peaceful schools that are free from the destructive influence of violence; and
WHEREAS, The horrific tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Florida, on February 14, 2018, has generated a national conversation on gun violence and has caused significant anxiety among our parents, teachers, and students; and
WHEREAS, Parkland students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Florida, are planning a March 24th march on Washington, D.C., called March for Our Lives to emphasize the need for increased gun control measures; and
WHEREAS, The Montgomery County Board of Education is committed to preparing students to be active citizens in our democracy; now therefore be it
Resolved, That the Montgomery County Board of Education extend sincere condolences to the students, staff, families, and community of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Florida, on the deaths of their students and staff; and be it further
Resolved, That the Montgomery County Board of Education urge national and state policymakers to pass legislation intended to reduce gun violence and protect our students and staff; and be it further
Resolved, That the Montgomery County Board of Education strongly endorse the March for Our Lives on March 24, 2018, and encourage our community to participate; and be it further
Resolved, That the Montgomery County Board of Education recognize and applaud efforts by our students to participate in the democratic process and demonstrate safely on campus; and be it further
Resolved, That the Montgomery County Board of Education direct the superintendent of schools to continue to urgently review the school district’s safety and security preparedness and provide a comprehensive report to the Montgomery County Board of Education outlining short- and long-term recommendations for appropriate enhancements no later than April 12, 2018.
The Montgomery County Board of Education has received several emails, letters and phone calls from community members expressing concerns, suggestions and ideas for keeping the children of Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) safe. Please know that Board members individually and collectively appreciate the outpouring of concern and useful feedback from you regarding safety and security in our schools. Indeed, in response to the tragedy in Florida, Dr. Jack Smith, superintendent of schools, recently sent this message to our community that you may find useful because it provides access to this dedicated site of helpful resources and information about the preparedness of MCPS in terms of keeping our students safe.