Group to Hold Rally Tomorrow in Support of Police-Free Schools, Restorative Justice, and Mental Health Support for Students

A group known as Young People For Progress will hold a rally at 4:30pm tomorrow (Thursday, February 24th) outside of the Montgomery County Board of Education meeting at the Carver Educational Services Center on Hungerford Drive. The goal of the rally is to urge MCPS Superintendent Dr. Monifa McKnight and school board members to support police-free schools, restorative justice, and more mental health support for students as the most effective way support student wellbeing and safety, according to a press release.

The Board of Education is holding a meeting tomorrow, Thursday, February 24th. The business meeting will begin at 3:30 p.m., and closed session will begin at 1:00 p.m. The meeting will be broadcast live on Comcast Channel 34, Verizon FIOS Channel 36, and RCN Channel 89. Meeting is rebroadcast at 1:00 p.m. on the Saturday and Sunday following the meeting.

The full press release regarding the rally can be seen below:

Montgomery County, MD (February 22, 2022) — On Thursday, February 24th, 2022, from 4:30pm-5:30pm, students, parents, and community members, will hold a rally at the Montgomery County Board of Education to urge the Superintendent Dr. Monifa McKnight and school board members to support police-free schools, restorative justice, and more mental health support for students as the most effective way support student wellbeing and safety.

As students, parents, and community members, we are all concerned about recent violence and mental health crises in our schools. The superintendent has proposed a plan to expand the presence of Community Engagement Officers (CEOs), or armed police officers, in schools. While the district claims to have removed police from schools, students have reported that police officers never truly left MCPS schools when the CEO model was established last fall. Ironically, MCPS proposed to expand the presence of police in schools in the same presentation as it discussed its commitment to student wellbeing and a racially equitable school system. However, evidence shows that the CEO plan is not only ineffective, but dangerous and counter to its student wellbeing goals.

The reality is that police are not effective in preventing violence in our schools. In fact,  peer-reviewed research finds that out of 133 school shootings, there were “three times as many people killed when there was an officer on the scene who was armed.” Instead, police in schools can increase student anxiety and worsen school climate, increase student arrests and involvement in the criminal justice system, and especially harm students of color and students with disabilities. In fact, in the one semester that the CEO model has been in place, Black students continue to be disproportionately arrested. Black students constituted 36% of arrests at MCPS schools in the fall 2021-2022 semester, despite making up only 14% of MCPS student population. It is clear that police in schools serves to jeopardize student well-being and does not effectively support student needs.

The solution is for students to have strong, supportive, and trusting relationships with adults (who are not law enforcement officers) and other students in their buildings. For this we need 1) restorative justice practitioners and training for all adults and students in schools, 2) culturally competent, and trauma-informed social workers and mental health practitioners, 3) positive youth development programming and wrap around support for students.These holistic measures are needed to create an environment where students are safe and conflict does not escalate.

Montgomery County officials will soon make a decision that will affect over 160,000 students across 209 schools. In this critical moment, students and the community are coming together to speak against putting CEO police in schools, and for restorative justice, mental health, and other student supports. We understand that every member of this community wants our students to be safer, but the answer is not to militarize our classrooms.

Recent Stories

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services (MCFRS) are currently on the scene of a multi-vehicle collision in Gaithersburg.

MCPS recently shared that seven of its students from seven different schools attended the High School Girls Policy Leadership Academy, hosted in partnership with Discovery Education, Voice4Equity, the U.S. Department…

Moby Dick House of Kabob, the local restaurant group that is currently expanding, has signed on to open a new restaurant in Potomac’s Cabin John Village. The new location will…

MCPS announced that two seniors have been named Cooke College Scholars by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. Mariel Arevalo Ballon of Wheaton High School, and Melat Ghebreselassie of Springbrook High…

17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Now in its 17th year, the Kensington Day of the Book Festival is a family-friendly street festival featuring 150+ renowned authors, poets, and literary organizations. Enjoy live music on five stages, special guest speakers, military veteran writers and comedians, poetry readings, cookbook demos, children's program, and much more.

Admission is free, and attendees will also be able to explore a marketplace of books and food offerings from local vendors.

Not your average book festival! This festival offers something for everyone!

17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Sunday, April 21, 2024, 11am-4pm (held rain or shine!)

Howard Avenue, Kensington, MD 20895

Instagram: @kensingtonbookfestival

Contact: Elisenda Sola-Sole, Festival Director

[email protected]

301-949-9416 (text preferred)

FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival

Get ready to experience the vibrant colors, tantalizing flavors, and infectious rhythms of the Caribbean at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival! Hosted by RHU LLC, this exciting festival is set to take place on May 18, 2024, at the picturesque 16700 Barnesville Rd in Boyds, MD.

Step into a world where the Caribbean spirit comes alive! From 12:00 PM onwards, immerse yourself in a sensory journey that celebrates the unique culture, cuisine, and music of the Caribbean. Whether you're an African American, a Reggae or Soca music enthusiast, a wine lover, or part of the vibrant Caribbean diaspora, this festival promises to delight and captivate you in every way.

Let the enticing aromas of mouthwatering Caribbean dishes tantalize your taste buds. Feast on traditional delicacies prepared by expert chefs, showcasing the rich and diverse culinary heritage of the Caribbean. Indulge in flavorful jerk chicken, succulent seafood, and delectable plantain dishes that will transport you straight to the islands.

Accompanying the culinary extravaganza is a carefully curated selection of premium wines, ensuring the perfect pairing for your palate. Sip on fine wines from renowned vineyards, each sip a reflection of the Caribbean's vibrant spirit. Discover new flavors, expand your wine knowledge, and savor unforgettable moments with every glass.

As the sun sets, get ready to groove to the infectious rhythms of Caribbean music. Feel the pulsating beats of reggae, soca, dancehall, and calypso, moving your body to the lively melodies. Live performances by talented musicians and performers will keep the energy high, ensuring a night of unforgettable entertainment.

Don't miss this opportunity to embrace the Caribbean spirit and celebrate the arrival of spring in style! Tickets are available on AllEvents, so secure your spot today. Join us at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival, where cultures collide and unforgettable memories are made.



2 NIGHT Camping packages available: RV/CAMPER $200 | TENTS $150 Starting on Friday May 17 @ 5pm | 30 RV SPACES | 30+ TENT SPACES



Subscribe to our mailing list