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A Statement from Dr. Martirano on School Safety

Posted: February 15th, 2018

Interim Superintendent Michael Martirano today issued the following statement:

The incident yesterday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida is tragically just the latest in a string of school violence that has struck at the heart of our nation over the last several years. These tragedies prompt many in our community to offer support and share concerns about the safety of our students and schools. Parents, staff and community members want to be assured that our students and families will never have to face such a horrific situation.

I want to assure our community that the Howard County Public School System holds the well-being of students and staff as our highest priority. We continue to take a proactive approach to ensuring that each school is as safe and secure as it can be.

We recently established the Office of Safety and Security to ensure that all of our security measures are streamlined, synchronized and effective and that our partnerships with police and the county support our efforts. I am confident that the safeguards in place in our schools represent the best possible approach to protecting students and staff from harm. These include effective emergency plans, staff training, security cameras, locked doors and windows and on-site security personnel. Furthermore, we have enhanced our school-based services and mental health protocols to provide students and staff with the supports they need before they cause harm to themselves or others.

I encourage students who may be troubled by the events in Florida, or need an outlet for any concern they carry, to speak to an adult in their building. The student services team at every school is prepared to assist any students or staff members in need.

Tragic events prompt us to reevaluate our practices, to ensure that we are indeed doing all that we can to secure the well-being of our students.