MCPS holds gun education assemblies across high schools


Hannah Lee

Classrooms throughout RM are equipped with shelter and emergency procedures.

Akshya Mahadevan and Samantha Cutler

On Sept. 13, MCPS announced that it will hold gun education assemblies in all 26 high schools, in collaboration with the county police. Their goal is to teach students how to resolve conflicts without violence, use the “if you see something, say something” technique and identify signs of violent ideation in other people. 

RM held its gun education assembly the afternoon of Oct. 25. Presenters shared various videos and resources regarding gun safety in schools.  

However, not all students seemed to be aware of these assemblies beforehand, which had been held at various schools in the county over the past few weeks, starting off with Winston Churchill High School on Sept. 15. “I wish I knew [of them] sooner,” junior Natalia Evans-Gibson said. 

Lauren DeMarco, Director of Public Affairs for the Office of the State’s Attorney in Montgomery County, emphasized the importance of the students’ role in resolving gun violence. “You guys know what’s going on within the youth community better than we do. You’re on social media all the time, so you hear things. If you hear something that is not right, we want you to reach out to an adult,” she said. 

Some students regard the gun assemblies as a step forward in gun safety. “The assemblies help show the government that students care,” Evans-Gibson said. “We can only hope that more public demonstration of our awareness will foster better gun safety legislation.”

“Gun violence has been a huge issue in the U.S., and here in Maryland for years,” sophomore Aaron Logsdon said. “I’m glad MCPS is starting to educate people on guns and raise awareness of the issue as much as they can, because even though it won’t stop it, it’s a step in the right direction.” 

Gun safety remains a current issue for MCPS. As of Aug. 14, 790 illegal guns, including untraceable 139 ‘ghost’ guns, have been seized this year in Montgomery County.  According to the Bethesda Beat, this number is up 75 percent since 2020, which has concerned authorities.

There have also been various incidents of threats and shootings in the county, such as the shooting in January of this year at Magruder High School. “[School shootings were] a big fear of mine in middle school, but the thought of a school shooting affected my parents more than myself,” Evans-Gibson said.

Other high school assemblies in MCPS have succeeded in spreading awareness in past years. Examples include the anti-domestic violence “Choose Respect” campaign and the anti-opioid addiction “Speak Up, Save a Life” presentation. County officials thus believe that the gun assemblies will be a success as well. “We would like students to understand that you all have a role to play in your own safety,” DeMarco said.

“I hope to see more students encouraged to act [against gun violence],” Evans-Gibson said.