Montgomery Co. schools to review safety and security preparedness

The offices of Montgomery County Public Schools are located on Hungerford Drive. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)

WASHINGTON — After the Florida school shooting that left 17 dead, Montgomery County, Maryland’s superintendent will review how review safety and security preparedness in the school system and make short- and long-term recommendations for improvements.

Superintendent Jack Smith will provide the comprehensive report to the Board of Education by April 12 after a resolution from student board member Matthew Post passed unanimously.

Post, who attends Sherwood High School, cited several copycat threats that schools have had to deal with in the wake of the shooting at Douglas Stoneman High School in Parkland, Florida.

In one profile case at Clarksburg High School in Montgomery County, a student allegedly brought a loaded gun to class.

Post read messages he had received from other students in the county. Some asked, “What if where I go to is next?” and “I’m afraid to go to school tomorrow, absolutely love my high school but what happened at Clarksburg hits too close to home.”

The last message he read, from a student at Blake High School, simply said, “Something needs to be done.”

It’s a sentiment with which Post agreed wholeheartedly.

He faulted elected leaders, either “out of cowardice or a lack of compassion” for not doing enough to keep guns out of the wrong hands and not keeping them out of schools in the wake of Columbine High School in 1999.

“We as students are not demanding a lot here,” Post said. “We’re asking to not be shot. We’re asking to not learn in fear. We’re asking to not be stuck as the ‘mass shooting generation.’”

Post argued this wasn’t a partisan or ideological issue for him and other students.

“This feels like life or death,” Post said.

“This is certainly among the greatest fears we all have, that something would happen to our children,” Smith said.

Smith also called on elected leaders to enact stronger gun control legislation that could have an impact on school safety.

The resolution also expressed strong support for students from Parkland, who are helping to organize a rally along Pennsylvania Avenue on March 24 and urges the community to participate in that rally.

Read the full resolution.

John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up