New Resolution Aims To Improve School Safety

Current SMOB Sami Saeed raised concerns about safety incidents.

by Randy Wang ’24

The Montgomery County Board of Education unanimously approved the “Safe Schools Resolution” proposed by Sami Saeed, student member of Board of Education (SMOB), at the November 9 board meeting. The resolution aims to create a safe and secure learning environment for students by proposing various ideas to expand or add policies.

Multiple MCPS schools around the county have experienced numerous safety incidents ranging from possession of firearms to bomb threats. MCPS also saw an increase in student arrests and drug use in schools. On November 26, Wootton was on lock down and students were evacuated due to a bomb threat from an anonymous source. Another incident occurred on November 28 at Springbrook High School where a student got stabbed on the back of the head during school hours and the 17-year old perpetrator was charged with 1st degree assault.

Saeed introduced the resolution to the School Board at the October 26 school board meeting. The resolution was crafted with the feedback of 400 surveyed MCPS students and Saeed’s own experiences as a student at Richard Montgomery High School.

Saeed cited an incident in his post on his Instagram account where an intruder entered his high school with a firearm. “That’s when it really hit me, from a personal experience, that this is a really big issue,” said Saeed during the October SMOB meeting.

The resolution will introduce an ID program to all high schools in Montgomery county. This program will require students to present their school ID to security guards who are stationed at main entrances before entering the school. If a student were to lose their ID, they will receive a new card from the school’s main office. “I think it’s something necessary because if you think about it right now, some high schools have absolutely no way of, you know, ensuring and checking the identity of people who enter the building,” said Saeed during an interview with Moderately MoCo.

Along with the ID program, students and security staff will receive more training around safety procedures in how to appropriately respond and report safety issues such as drug use and potential bodily harm. The resolution also proposes to expand and improve upon community messaging. Some examples include sending messages across multiple platforms and providing more timely messages as a situation progresses.

The implementation of this resolution is expected to be smooth sailing. “I purposely used language in the resolution to allow for more broad changes to be enacted to fit each requirement; that way MCPS would not be limited and could achieve all the goals without delay or dysfunction,” said Saeed in an interview with The Warrior. He added that the resolution was amended at the Board table to include key stakeholders and associations on the resolution, such as principals and teachers, to ensure that everything that is implemented is done in collaboration with school staff and administration.

Saeed credited the help he received from the SMOB Advisory Council and MCPS administration with helping him craft the resolution. An update on the process of the resolution will be provided by the SMOB during one of the board meetings in April.