There has been an increase in school shootings over the years. As we have learned at SMCPS, it does not matter where your school is located or how great your school is, the fact is that a shooting can happen as it did at Great Mills High School last year. Our school and community lost two young lives. Students were very frightened during this incident and it caused a lot of emotions among the schools and community. In school year 2012-2013, there were 31 homicides of school age youth that occurred in schools. One out of five students are reported being bullied in 2017. Approximately twelve young people die from homicide each day. Youth violence is the leading cause of death of young people. Youth violence is preventable. Our school needs to increase surveillance and other initiatives to help prevent school violence.
It is our school and community that can make a difference along with students. School surveillance methods can be used to help protect our schools, teachers, students and all other staff. These methods can include locker searches, metal detectors, extra police, cameras and trauma awareness lessons to everyone in a school. The students in all grade levels need to learn about how to handle certain feelings when it comes to relationships, depression, anger, self-control, positive social skills, social problem-solving, conflict resolution, and teamwork. SMCPS has full time police officers in all high schools. Our elementary schools do not have full time police officers. There are some mental health providers in our district but more could help with the prevention of violence. The buildings in our district have a system for those who enter the building must report to main office and sign in. Our school has an initiative right now called, “If you see something, SAY something”. This is a way for our students to help with things they may hear around a school setting or at a social activity that could save lives.
The concerns that I have at the high school include: the windows on the first floor, the trailers outside used for classrooms, no metal detectors, and the general awareness of how to handle life in itself with all the problems young people can have in the daily social and conflict situations. There are many ways to help protect our schools against violence. The statistics are scary and our schools need to keep advancing in the preventive technologies and support to keep our school safe.

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