Students take school safety survey

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Montgomery County school officials have released the results of a student survey regarding school safety.

In total, 1,100 students from all of the county’s high schools and one middle school took the survey.

More than 30 percent of survey takers said they’d like better alarm systems, more security cameras and auto-locks on classroom doors.

“I think there are some concerns,” said School Climate and Safety Chair Gillian Huebner. “Some schools don’t have security vestibules and I think there is some anxiety within certain schools that they are not on the immediate list.”

Parents were told about the survey through a statement from the superintendent, who is helping to oversee a massive overhaul in how MCPS does security.

Interestingly, 13 percent of students wrote specifically about the need to invest more into mental health services.

“That’s key,” said Huebner. “We have maybe one counselor in some schools for over 700 students but the funding isn’t there so we need to make sure that funding levels are being increased to cover those needs.”

The survey represents one of several steps the school system is taking to interact with students and get the best possible idea of what they want.

“So this year we surveyed our students but next year it could be a focus group,” said MCPS spokeswoman Gboyinde Onijala. “There are so many options available to us to ensure that we’re getting that direct feedback because we want to hear from those who are most affected by this issue.”

A full detailed copy of the final security report can be found on the MCPS website.

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