There are seven armed police officers in high schools, 214 school security officials placed throughout the county, buzzer entry systems, locked doors and security cameras—but is it enough to keep Montgomery County’s public school children safe?
Dozens of Montgomery County parents packed the Montgomery County Public Schools headquarters in Rockville last night for a community discussion on school safety, but Wednesday's meeting was just the beginning of an ongoing conversation, according to officials. What are your thoughts on safety in Montgomery County public schools?
Some talking points from recent county discussions:
- There are different powers that SROs have in schools versus school security officers. In terms of ability to use lethal force, only police officers have that ability. Is there a place for any MCPS security officers to carry a weapon? —County Councilman Philip M. Andrews (D-Dist. 3) of Gaithersburg, chair of Montgomery County Council Public Safety Committee
- What more can be done to prevent bullying in schools? One parent, whose child has been a victim of bullying, believes only strict accountability is the answer.
- What best practices already exist among schools that can be rolled out across the county? That’s something that we, the school board, need to look at – using the resources we have in the best way we can. —Montogmery County school board President Christopher Barclay (Dist. 4) of Takoma Park.
- What balance should exist between tight physical security at schools and the flexibility needed for a nurturing education? I just have elementary school students, and I don’t want to see them caged; they need to go out and play, their science teacher needs to be able to take them outside.—Cheryl Peirce, parent and board member of the Montgomery County Council of PTAs.
Tell us your answers in the comments below.