MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich was joined by members of the reimagining school safety and student well-being committee to discuss their preliminary report.
Back in August, Elrich announced that the start of the school year would be the end of the SRO program and the introduction of the Community Engagement Officers.
“While we imagine what happens with our new role of these CEOs will play, our students will still be safe, our community will still be safe,” said Councilmember Craig Rice.
County Executive Elrich said this is the most comprehensive review of how we deal with mental health issues in our public schools.
“I think we realize that there isn’t a single magic bullet, it really relies on our ability to provide the kind of services, and to develop a deep understanding of the issues that children confront,” said Elrich.
Over the summer, hundreds of staff received professional development on how to implement restorative practices and will use those recommendations in the report to further expand that to the district’s 209 schools.
“It does not mean that we do not have this in the practices that we put in place, we do, that is necessary, that’s a part of what we do… but we also know that restoring the environment is really important,” said Dr. Monifa Mcknight, MCPS interim superintendent.
The Department of Health and Human Services emphasizes how their role will help get to the root cause of students’ behavior from a mental health perspective instead of a delinquency lens. Another important component of the committee was to provide a report about the relationship between MCPS and MCPD. Chief Jones says the partnership has been going well.