Dear Maryland Education Community

We are all saddened by news of a school shooting that occurred within our state. It is fortunate that the incident was quickly contained and we are grateful for the swift work of law enforcement on the scene, St. Mary’s authorities, and school administrators. We would like to express our support to the students recovering from their injuries, the Great Mills High School community, and everyone throughout St. Mary’s County.

I have reached out to St. Mary’s Public School Superintendent Dr. Smith to offer the resources and assistance of the Maryland State Department of Education. We will coordinate with the Maryland Center for School Safety and the public schools to provide counselors, support and technical assistance.

In partnership with the Maryland Center for School Safety and the State Board of Education, I have placed the highest urgency on actions that enhance school safety. We are grateful for the strong support throughout the state for our work developing effective safety procedures, policies and training resources.

A particular focus of the Maryland State Department of Education has been making resources available to positively impact the mental health issues of our students. Available resources to help students in crisis can be found on theEmergency Planning For School Systems and Schoolsand theSchool Mental Healthwebsites.

Our public school systems, public and private schools, law enforcement agencies, fire and rescue, school administrators, school staff, parents and governmental officials all stand together with the common goal of providing a safe school environment for all children within our state. My message last month is no more true than today: Our students are counting on us!

Karen B. Salmon, Ph.D.
State Superintendent of Schools