Safety for our students has always been one of my top priorities. The arrest of the HCPSS substitute teacher Steven Katz in Montgomery County and the shooting at Great Mills High School of Maryland have clearly shown that these nationwide issues could very well end up happening in our own schools. These tragedies have shocked and saddened me. My condolences go out to those families who have been negatively impacted. As adults, we have the obligation to protect our kids. We must stop just talking about the issue and start taking action NOW. Our kids shouldn’t feel scared when going to school. I am determined to make school safety a top priority as it should have been all along if I am elected as a BOE member.
I will re-examine and strengthen information sharing among government and law enforcement agencies to make sure that our school system has up-to-date information available regarding school safety. The arrest of Steven Katz was known to the public before the news reached to the HCPSS offices.
I will ensure allocation of adequate resources for mental health to help both students and school staff better handle pressure, access counselors whenever needed, and, again, streamline information sharing between parents, schools, and other partners. We also need to put more efforts to curb cyber bullying which is now a prevailing problem for teenagers.
I will not allow guns on campus, except for those owned by school resource officer (SRO) which should reside in each and every high schools.
I will continue to work on the overcrowding issue at school, to reduce portable classrooms gradually (at least focusing on the portable classroom safety now) and install alarm system for the school facilities.
We should also continue to monitor and improve school bus safety.
It is shocking to see so many school shootings this year. I strongly condemn these events including the latest one at Great Mills High School. We must work together to prevent such events in the future. I welcome your participation and suggestions as this will be one of my top priorities as a BOE member. Strong school safety is what everyone needs.