MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. - Montgomery County Public Schools has teamed up with the Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office and the Montgomery County Police Department to educate high school students about gun violence.
In a letter sent home to MCPS high school families Tuesday, Superintendent Monifa McKnight and State's Attorney John McCarthy outline the new initiative.
Through a series of scheduled assemblies throughout the fall of 2022, students will learn about the law — and consequences if broken — in addition to strategies to solve problems without weapons or violence.
The assemblies will also cover the importance of vigilance and a "see something, say something" approach and how to recognize signs that someone may choose violence to harm themselves or others.
"These assemblies will begin in the coming days and weeks," the letter reads. "Schools will share specific information about when they are scheduled at your child’s high school. We appreciate your continued partnership with MCPS and as parents, guardians and caregivers, we ask that you echo these messages at home. Students must seek a trusted adult for support rather than choosing violence."
Families who don't want their child to participate can choose to opt-out from these lessons by contacting their school administrator.
The program arrives in the county one year after the school district dealt with a series of gun violence incidents, including a shooting inside a bathroom at Magruder High School and the off-campus murder of a Northwest High School student.
According to data compiled by Montgomery County, a whopping 790 illegal guns have been seized this year as of Aug. 14, which is up nearly 75% since 2020, when there were 452 guns seized.
State laws prohibit anyone under the age of 21 to possess a firearm. Violators 16 or older found in possession of a gun will be charged as adults.