MURDER USA: Shooter Shot Self / The killing in the halls of Great Mills High School could have been prevented with metal detectors

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Austin Wyatt Rollins of Great Mills dead after being shot after he shot two fellow students March 20, 2018. 

 

UPDATE:  Sheriff finally confirms what eyewitnesses stated last week, that Austin Rollins held his gun to his head and killed himself when he was confronted by Dfc. Blaine Gaskill:

Evidence indicates at approximately 7:57 am on March 20, 2018, Austin Rollins, fired a single shot from a handgun in Great Mills High School Hallway F, striking Jaelynn Willey and Desmond Barnes. Rollins continued walking through the school and was confronted by School Resource Officer, Deputy First Class Blaine Gaskill, in Hallway D. Rollins fired one fatal shot to his head; simultaneously, DFC. Gaskill also fired one non-fatal shot, which struck the weapon in Rollins’ hand.
The timeline of the incident, as well as 911 calls received:

 

LISTEN TO AUDIO OF 911 CALLS FOR HELP FROM STUDENTS IN GREAT MILLS HIGH SCHOOL

Jaelynn Willey’s family makes the announcement that she is braindead and they will take her off life support on March 22, 2018, at a press conference at PG shock trauma. They were with her when she passed at 11:34 pm that night.

MURDER USA: The killing in the halls of Great Mills High School could have been prevented with metal detectors

·       A few takeaways from the day of terror at Great Mills High School.

·       How politics entered the tragedy as politicians rushed to appear in front of cameras

·       FOLLOW THE MONEY: St. Mary’s County is sitting on funds that could provide metal detectors immediately

 

GREAT MILLS, MD. – First, this may be the first fatal incident that Great Mills High School students and their families are familiar with, and while undoubtedly the most serious, the murder of Jaelynn Willey and the wounding of Desmond Barnes, ended quickly by the quick actions of DFC Blaine Gaskill – is not the only instance of severe disruption and mayhem. In 2008, two dozen troopers and deputies were called to break up a brawl in the school that involved well over a dozen students.

Austin Wyatt Rollins of Great Mills dead after being shot after he shot two fellow students March 20, 2018
Desmond Barnes shot at Great Mills High by Austin Rollins.
Jaelynn Wiley was killed by Austin Wyatt Rollins. She died two days after the shooting at Great Mills High School on March 20, 2018.

Second, why can any nutcase kid with a perverted view of life and in many cases previously documented psycho behavior be allowed to walk willy-nilly into a school with a loaded gun in his backpack?

In the case of the Parkland High School shooter, Nikolas Cruz, he walked into that school with a lot more than one handgun. The miracle of unbridled bureaucracy at work in so many ways – starting with the “ban” Cruz entering the school with a backpack or even at all as he had been expelled.

In the case of Great Mills High School, officials make the claim that there hadn’t been any unusual alerts about the frame of mind of Austin Rollins. An inspection of his Facebook page before the sanitizing by Facebook, officials, or his family, gave no indication of bizarre behavior and made no mention of the girl he killed. He did list the name of another girl that he claimed he was in “a relationship” with.

Therefore, the priority has to be on stopping students from having weapons on their person or in their backpacks when they enter a school building.

Political correctness keeps crazy kids in schools instead of being isolated and restricted from being able to inflict harm and death. School officials will concede that everyone is afraid of taking action with students that have mental health problems even though there are many of them that are clearly pinpointed.

Guns at Great Mills High School

Great Mills Road Shootout victim was also a suspect after a fight at the Great Mills outside basketball court turned into a shootout across four lanes of traffic.

Another gun incident took place in 1998 where young men were playing on the basketball courts on the school grounds at the end of the school day.

They got into an argument that rolled down Great Mills Road from the high school about two blocks to near the entrance to Carver Elementary School. Their dispute resulted in the two sides in stopping on either side of the highway and firing guns at each other across the four lanes of traffic.

No one was killed, but at least one of the participants was wounded and taken from the scene in an ambulance while others were removed by the St. Mary’s Sheriff’s responding deputies to jail.

This suspect was one of a gang of youths that were playing basketball at Great Mills High School and took their feud onto the street, shooting at each other thru traffic.

The point in this incident is that students having guns at Great Mills High School is nothing new, as the participants in the gunfire exchange on the highway had the guns with them at the school grounds basketball court when their dispute began. Where those guns were earlier in the school day is a matter of conjecture.

How many other incidents involving guns or other lethal weapons is a matter for the St. Mary’s Public Schools and the St. Mary’s Sheriff’s Department to reveal to the public, as they are the keepers of that information.

Over the last twenty-five years in St. Mary’s County there has been a persistent problem with false bomb threats being called in, many times on days when the weather was more acclimated to going fishing or even to coincide with final exams.  Surely, there were more narcissistic and sinister motivations behind some of those events.  The request to public school officials during the last twenty years about installing metal detectors was always answered by “where we going to get the money for metal detectors?”

The lack of spine in our various elected officials is only outdone by their abundance of cheesiness. The officials found money in the budgets for artificial turf at dozens of high schools across the State of Maryland in the past ten years.

Scroll down for a partial list of those schools and the funds allocated for the artificial turf fields.

St Mary’s Commissioner President Randy Guy interview with WUJSA 9 news anchor Bruce Johnson.
The Chesapeake Today 
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Politics as Usual:
St. Mary’s County Commissioner President Randy Guy Shuffles the Blame on Lack of Metal Detectors While Sitting on Emergency Reserves

St. Mary’s County Commissioner President Randy Guy was interviewed across the street from the Great Mills High School complex on the evening of the fatal school shooting by WUSA News Anchor Bruce Johnson. Randy Guy wasn’t the only politician rushing for a chance to promote an agenda as Congressman Steny Hoyer sped to the scene to advance the national Democratic Party’s campaign against the NRA and to attempt to harness the newly prominent views of young people who are scared to death in their schools. U. S. Senator Ben Cardin also managed to mimic Hoyer and the Democratic talking points. Neither provided any quick solution to providing metal detectors and were in Great Mills only to mine votes before a national TV audience.  Guy, Hoyer, and Cardin are all up for reelection this year.

One Guy Could Provide Metal Detectors Immediately

St. Mary’s Commissioner President Randy Guy recited a few lines about how terrible the shooting was and how everyone is sorry about the tragedy.

Johnson then asked Commissioner President Guy to tell him about the hero Deputy Sheriff who put a stop to the shooting with an immediate response and exchange of gunfire with the killer.

“I don’t want to put his name out there, have his name all over,” said Guy, even though Deputy First Class Blaine Gaskill was identified by the Sheriff’s Department several hours earlier and his photo had been circulated on news outlets around the world.

More than an effort to protect Deputy Gaskill from gaining notoriety it was clear that perhaps Commissioner Guy just didn’t remember the name of Dfc. Gaskill.  Being interviewed on a Washington TV News station is somewhat new for the first-term county commissioner.

Body scanner Secure 1000 Image Creative Commons photo

However, Guy gave DFC Gaskill, being hailed nationwide as a hero, a rousing endorsement for his skills and training and put in a big plug for what a fine Sheriff that Tim Cameron is, in providing excellent training for the school resource officers.

Then Johnson asked Commissioner Guy what measures that St. Mary’s County would take to improve school safety.

Guy continued to talk about how Sheriff Cameron goes out and talks to the community, prepares and trains tactical teams for St. Mary’s as well as other areas.

“And yet a student was able to smuggle a Glock into the school?” asked Johnson.

“Yes, a Glock is a standard handgun for many people and is made of plastic and steel,” said Guy, “and we do not have any metal detectors.”

“Do you need them; do you want them?” asked Johnson.

“You know what if the Federal government will give us the money. If our legislators and Senators come down with the money, we’ll be glad to put them in.”

“Yes, a Glock is a standard handgun for many people and is made of plastic and steel,” said Guy, “and we do not have any metal detectors.”

“Do you need them; do you want them?” asked Johnson.

“You know what if the Federal government will give us the money. If our legislators and Senators come down with the money, we’ll be glad to put them in.”

Instead of pressing Guy further to explain why the County government can’t fund metal detectors and make schools as safe as the courthouses, and clearly not aware of how the St. Mary’s Commissioners blows a lot of money on discretionary spending, he offered:

“You have a finite amount of money.”

“Yes, you do as much as you can to harden the entrance, make a single point of entry, install vestibules. That’s up to the federal government and the State of Maryland to provide funds, we don’t have any funds for that.”

Guy said, “you’ve got to do something to harden the entrance to the schools, but you have 1300 people coming in the school with backpacks.”

THE HERO OF GREAT MILLS HIGH SCHOOL: DFC Blaine Gaskill

Johnson asked him where the money is coming from to make the entrances and the schools safe.

“The Governor just tried two weeks ago, there was a bill killed to give us $125 million for school safety improvements, but it didn’t get passed up in Annapolis, the Federal Government is not going to give us any money, they are just fighting up there, and nothing is getting done.”

At a press conference held in Great Mills, six-hour earlier, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan rightfully pointed to the school safety priority bill for $125 million he had proposed on February 28, 2018, and which has been sandbagged by the Democrat-controlled Maryland legislature. Anyone has to give Hogan all the credit in the world for proposing concrete plans to provide safe schools.

COUNTY HAS FUNDS TO ACT IMMEDIATELY TO INSTALL METAL DETECTORS

Perhaps Commissioner Guy doesn’t realize that anyone with a computer can view the St. Mary’s County website and see he signed his name to the approved 2018 Fiscal Year Budget that provides more than 10 million dollars for a new Sports Complex that will include four athletic fields with artificial turf.

There are other big-ticket items as well. However, the expenditure of and designation of funding in the next few years for the controversial artificial turf, which has some communities up in arms as being unsafe and causing injuries, can simply be eliminated. Those funds can be used to harden all schools and provide legitimate security. Schools that have sports teams which play on dirt fields complain about being injured or being at a competitive disadvantage when playing at a school with artificial turf. And, vice-versa.

The St. Mary’s County Commissioners have funds that can be used immediately without canceling any proposed spending on needless items such as the artificial turf athletic fields.

  • The St. Mary’s Board of Commissioners maintains a “Rainy Day Fund” and an “Emergency Reserve.” The Board’s Approved Budget notes that the county “Rainy Day Reserve balance is retained at $1,625.00” and the Emergency Reserve is ready for action as well. “The Budget allocates $1,082,900 to this reserve.” The Budget document states: “Uses require specific action by the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County.”
  • The St. Mary’s Commissioners also have a Bond Rating Reserve $13,330,021 as of June 30, 2016, according to the county’s approved budget for the Fiscal Year 2018.

With one meeting of the Board of Commissioners, even a meeting held on an emergency basis and not wait until their next meeting on March 27th, the process for ordering security systems could begin immediately and could be piggy-backed onto existing purchase orders for Maryland courthouse security systems and bypass the time-consuming requirements of competitive bidding. The best price has already been identified by the State of Maryland for government buildings such as the State House and various state office buildings.

The children of St. Mary’s County’s schools are at the very least, as important as the legislators and the judges of Maryland.

 

St. Mary’s Commissioners are planning to build a Sports Complex with four athletic fields with artificial turf.

The following is from the approved 2018 Budget for St. Mary’s County in the Capital Improvements for Parks & Recreation:

DESCRIPTION:

To build a state-of-the-art, multi-sports complex (9 playing fields) on donated or county-owned property located in the Leonardtown or California area. The sports complex is envisioned to have numerous multi-purpose athletic fields that will be able to support youth soccer, lacrosse, field hockey and football games and tournaments. Phase I to include: four multi-purpose Synthetic Sports Turf athletic fields, restroom/concessions building and adequate parking facilities with lighting. Phase II to include five additional multi-purpose Bermuda Grass athletic fields and additional parking. The project proposes a feasibility study in FY2019, design and engineering in FY2021, Phase I construction in FY2023 and Phase II construction in FY2025.

 

St. Mary’s County Sports Complex Budget that will build four athletic fields with artificial turf 2018 Capital Budget

 

 

Community Support for Artificial Turf at High Schools

The following testimony was presented to the St. Mary’s Commissioners asking for artificial turf at county high schools. The names of the requestors have been deleted. Their comments are summaries from the public record as transcribed by the county’s clerks.

A Hollywood MD resident (appeared before Board of Commissioners with a request on Dec. 4, 2012)

  • Requested artificial turf for Public School system and the County
  • Parent – Taxpayer – very familiar with sports in the county (two children graduated and one now in

Leonardtown High School)

  • Great Mills High School Head Varsity Lacrosse Coach, and Commissioner and one of the

founding members of the St. Mary’s County Girls Lacrosse League

  • Lots of experience with sports and playing on turf fields
  • Feels St. Mary’s County athletes are at a disadvantage when they practice on grass fields and

play outside the County on artificial turf fields.

A Hollywood resident:

  • President of Leonardtown Raiders Quarterback club – a non-profit boosters group for LHS,

representing 120 parents who are members

  • LHS is a center for education during the day then sports activities during the evening – thankful

for the staff at Leonardtown

  • The infrastructure of County High Schools is seriously inadequate – dressing rooms small; storage

an issue (sweaty equipment stored on top of each other -breeding area for bacteria); playing

fields inadequate (mud when it rains, ice in winter), lighting horrible on fields (end zones barely

lit, the center of field lighting not even, spectators must walk a long distance to a 2-person restroom

  • Numerous studies show improvements from the old astroturf and the new turf – the new does not freeze in winter or harden in the summer

A Leonardtown resident:

  • Concerned with athletic facilities in Saint Mary’s County
  • School Board paid for a study to look at athletic facilities in St. Mary’s County
  • LHS rated the worst of the three County High Schools
  • Coached in Leonardtown for 15 years
  • The advantage is you can play on turf fields every day, no maintenance, less injuries
  • In January 2012 the State Board of Public Works approved county school’s proposal to spend

$4M on turf fields

  • Saint Mary’s County Athletes at a disadvantage when playing on turf fields and when college

coaches are scouting to recruit

  • Asked Commissioners to find a way to fund

 

MARYLAND LEGISLATORS DRUG POLICIES ARE PUTTING STUDENTS AT RISK

DeForest Rathbone provided this commentary on the rush by politicians to make headlines and avoid the root cause of school violence and disruptive mental mayhem. He cited this article in The Washington Post.

This news article illustrates how Maryland lawmakers are proposing worthless “throw money at the problem” law changes to deceive the public into believing they will fix the state’s massive school violence problems.  Their belated response is being prompted by widespread public concern from startling news of the 3/20/18 school shooting at Great Mills High School in which two students were killed, one wounded and the entire rest of student population and their parents terrorized.

This horrific event was the most serious of numerous continuing acts of violence in St. Mary’s County public schools as revealed in frequent news media reports and documented in periodic Youth Behavioral Health Surveys for decades now.  (See example survey attached.)

Such student endangerment is the direct result of the failure of public school officials, county government officials and state lawmakers to authorize and implement effective policies that will actually protect kids and families from the widely known prevalence of drugs and violence in schools.

A major contributor to the youth drug use problem is the Maryland State Legislature’s promotion of federally-illegal marijuana snake-oil medicine (non-FDA approved) that is now being produced and distributed throughout the state.  This Maryland State Health Department-sponsored commerce is sending the message to children that marijuana must be harmless if can be medicine; and that parents, and school officials are lying to them about its harm.   This ill-conceived state law must be rescinded if any progress is to be made in protecting children, families, and schools from drugs and violence.

Another suggested new law would be for the State Legislature in the current session to enact a simple law requiring a forensic drug test of all suspects in violent acts to verify the presence of any violent-psychosis-inducing drug that may have contributed to the criminal act.  This will provide valid data to inform future legislative efforts.

And a final suggested new law would be to enact authorization of Random Student Drug Testing in the model of the Virginia law authorizing this humanitarian and non-punitive school health protection program that is well proven in use and in studies, see attached Education Dept. study on the Effectiveness of Random Student Drug Testing documenting reduced drug use and school violence when adopted by schools.

Failure to enact such important proposals will become an important enabler to perpetuating student drug use and school violence that will continue endangering and terrorizing students throughout this state.  Such failure will also promote major antipathy toward lawmakers who failed to provide this much-needed protection.

DeForest Rathbone

Leonardtown, Md.
(A longtime parent drug prevention activist—and a former Great Mills High School student.)


 

DRUG-RELATED DANGERS TO STUDENTS

 IN ST. MARY’S COUNTY SCHOOLS

As Documented in the following excerpts from the 2013 Maryland

Youth Risk Behavior Survey.   The full Survey is available at link:

http://phpa.dhmh.maryland.gov/cdp/SitePages/youth-risk-survey.aspx#stmary SMC data accessible through this link.

BACKGROUND

 

    In order to break through widespread denial of school drugs and violence, Congress enacted laws that require local schools to conduct student surveys and report acts of crime, drugs and violence in their schools.  This information is important to help public officials identify the causes of such problems and to more effectively select prevention strategies and allocate resources to address these problems.

 

STUDENT SURVEY SUMMARY

 

The 2013 (latest available) St. Mary’s County Youth Risk Behavior Survey results are similar to all previous surveys throughout the past two decades in that they indicate serious involvement of many schoolchildren in illegal substance abuse and related dangerous behaviors.  The survey data are presented as percentages of students involved in each category of the survey.  However, to give a more complete picture of the magnitude of the problem, those raw percentages have been converted into the calculated equivalent number of students involved based upon a secondary school enrolment of approximately 10,000 students.

 

         Category                                                          Reported Percentage       Number of Students

 

Current Use of Cigarettes                                                     15.3%                             1,530

Current Use of Marijuana                                                     19.9% (27.7% Nat’l)      1,990

Current Use of Pills                                                                9.2%                                920

Current Use of Alcohol                                                        34.0%                              3,400

Current Binge Drinkers                                                        19.2%                              1,920

Drove Under the Influence of Alcohol Recently              11.3%                             1,130

Been a Passenger with a Drinking Driver Recently         21.2%                             2,120

Lifetime Use of Cocaine                                                         6.7%                                 670

Lifetime Use of Heroin                                                         4.5%                                 450

Used a Needle to Inject any Illegal Drug                               4.1%                                  410

Lifetime Use of Meth                                                             5.0%                                  500

Lifetime Use of Ecstasy                                                         8.6%                                  860

Lifetime Use of Steroids                                                        4.8%                                  480

Offered, Sold or Given Drugs on School Property          25.0%                              2,500

Involved in a Physical Fight in Past Year                             11.3%                              1,130

Involved in a Fight that Required Medical Attention             5.2% (2011)                      520

Carried a Weapon on School Property                                    3.8%                                 380

Threatened by Weapons on School Property                     8.1%                                 810

Were Raped                                                                             9.9%                                 990

Had Been Bullied                                                                   19.8%                             1,980

Felt Unsafe so Cut School in Past 30 Days                             6.4%                                 640

Felt Sad and Hopeless (Depressed)                                        24.3%                             2,430

Seriously Considered Suicide                                              16.1%                             1,610       

Actually Attempted Suicide                                                   12.5%                              1,250

Attempted Suicide that Required Medical Care                      5.2% (2011)                      520

The 2011 Maryland State Survey specifically highlighted the following suicide data: In the last 12 months, over one fourth (29.7%) of Maryland youth reported experiencing feelings of sadness and hopelessness “every day for two or more weeks in a row” to the point they “stop doing usual activities.”  Although notable, this percentage—as well as the percentage of youth who considered attempting suicide, or made a plan for committing suicide, or actually attempted suicide—has remained largely unchanged between 2005 and 2011. However, the percentage of youth whose suicide attempts required medical care increased significantly between 2005 and 2011.

NOTE:  The following categories were included in the 2001 Survey but not in the 2011 and 2013 Surveys.  Assuming no major differences in rates between those three surveys, the 2001 percentages are reported below with calculations to the number of students based on the current secondary school enrollment.

 

Used Any Drug Other Than Alcohol                                        24%                                2,400

Use Two or More Drugs                                                           12%                                1,200

Been High on Drugs at School                                               14%                                1,400

Been Drunk at School                                                             10%                                1,000

Drove Under the Influence of Drugs                                     10%                                1,000

Been a Passenger with a Drug-Using Driver                        21%                                2,100

Arrested for Drug-Related Incidents                                      4%                                   400

Arrested for Alcohol-Related Incidents                                  4%                                   400

Unsuccessfully Tried to Stop Using Drugs                                 5%                                   500

Unsuccessfully Tried to Stop Drinking                                       5%                                   500

Had Poor School Performance Because of Drug Use                 6%                                   600

Was Absent From School Due to Drug Use                                8%                                  800

Had Health Problems Due to Drug Use                                       5%                                  500

Had Family Problems Due to Drug Use                                      6%                                  600

Had Poor School Performance Because of Alcohol Use             5%                                  500

Was Absent From School Due to Alcohol Use                            9%                                  900

Had Health Problems Due to Alcohol Use                                   5%                                  500

Had Family Problems Due to Alcohol Use                                  6%                                  600

 

Whether these numbers are precisely accurate or not, they represent a reasonable estimate of the actual condition.  Their gross magnitude may be seen as a desperate cry out for help by the students who completed the surveys.  If these totals seem to be an exaggerated statement of St. Mary’s County’s schoolchild drug problem, we should consider the anguish of even one family whose child has been damaged or destroyed by drugs and violence in his/her school.  As reported by testimony at the March 7, 2014 St. Mary’s County “Drug Summit for Parents,” in the past three years, SMC recorded 254 drug overdose treatments that included 20 juveniles, and 18 drug overdose deaths.  Studies have shown that most OD deaths had their origin in exposure of kids to drugs during their teen years.  (2017 data show continual soaring rates since then.)

 

Since the above figures were developed from Survey questions alone, these data need to be confirmed by biologic testing that is objective and accurate.  That is why in a recent letter published in the 6/25/14 Enterprise (attached) Parent drug prevention leaders called for a “one-time confidential health screening of SMC secondary school kids to verify with scientific certainty the actual exposure of students to the disease of drug addiction.”  A scientific structured random sampling of a representative number of students by hair testing to confirm drug use over a three month period, would be relatively inexpensive and produce the valuable information SMC Health and School officials need to adopt new effective drug prevention policies.

This paper produced by National Institute of Citizen Anti-drug Policy (NICAP)

DeForest Rathbone, Chairman, 301-994-2733, DZR@prodigy.net      6/29/14

 

Spurious Expenditures by State and County Governments In lieu of Providing Security Entrances on High Schools

Jurisdiction                         Source                 Description         Project                 Amount               Date

 

Baltimore            Open Space        Catonsville High School  Art. Turf Field     $400,000               082207

 

Washington        Grant                    Hagerstown YMCA           Renovation         $400,000               072810

 

Howard                Open Space        Troy Reg. Park    Art. Turf/Restroom          $1,617,790               030718

 

Carroll                  Rural Legacy       Stocksdale Property        easement            $287,839               030718

 

Baltimore            Open Space        Reisterstown Reg Park   Artificial Turf      $682,300               050609

 

Baltimore            Open Space        Lansdowne High Rec.  Artificial Turf         $682,175               050609

 

Baltimore            Open Space        Honeygo Run Reg. Pk.    Art. Turf/Lights  $937,500               050609

 

Baltimore            Open Space        Franklin High School       Artificial Turf      $606,795               010709

 

Baltimore            Open Space        Eastern Reg Park              Artificial Turf      $649,800               010709

 

Prince Georges  Bond/Open         Henry Wise High              Artificial Turf      $1,125,000                121616

 

Prince Georges Bond/Open        Gwynn Park High             Artificial Turf      $1,275,000               121616

 

Howard                Grant/School      Atholton High                   Artificial Turf      $1,000,000               100511

 

Howard                Grant/School      Hammond High                Artificial Turf      $1,000,000               100511

 

Anne Arundel     Open Space        Bell Branch                        Artificial Turf      $800,000               020817

 

Baltimore            Open Space        Spring Grove                     Artificial Turf      $2,490,000               020817

 

Baltimore            Open Space        Randallstown HS              ArtTurf/Light      $900,000               092017

 

Baltimore            Open Space        Perry Hall HS                     Artificial Turf      $250,000               092917

 

Baltimore            Open Space        Seminary Park                   Artificial Turf      $315,000               103107

 

Baltimore            Open Space        Hereford High School     Artificial Turf      $627,000               041509

 

Baltimore            Open Space        Woodlawn High               Art/Turf/Light     $993,087               021809

 

Prince Georges  Open Space        LaPlata Beach Field          Artificial Turf      $619,000               060607

 

Balt. City             Open Space        Gwynn Falls Park              Artificial Turf      $750,000               110216

 

Balt. City              Open Space        Carroll Park Athletic        Artificial Turf      $750,000               121813

 

On Feb. 27, 2018, Governor Larry Hogan issued this plan to the Maryland General Assembly to make schools safer:

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan

“To bolster school security efforts in the state, Governor Hogan announced that the administration would commit an additional $125 million to accelerate and enhance safety improvements in schools, including secure doors and windows, metal detectors, security cameras, panic buttons, and other capital improvements, as well as an additional $50 million in operating funds each year for new school safety grants, which could be used for school resource officers, counselors, and additional safety technology. The funding will be allocated through the governor’s education lockbox proposal, which provides an additional $4.4 billion in education spending from casino revenues.

The governor also announced that he will submit emergency legislation to create Maryland’s first statewide school safety standards, including required training and certification for all school resource officers and security staff. The legislation will require all school systems to conduct an annual school safety assessment and develop plans to address behavioral threats and emergency situations. The plans will be subject to approval by the Maryland State Board of Education and overseen by the Maryland Center for School Safety.

 

As an immediate step to activate the emergency legislation, the governor announced that he will submit a supplemental budget on Friday, March 2, that provides an additional $5 million for the Maryland Center for School Safety, an increase in funding of 600 percent. The funding will enable the center to hire analysts and social media trackers, allocate staff in more regions of the state, and assist schools with conducting the mandated safety assessments.

 

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