Students from across the state, including representatives from Washington County Public Schools, participated in the Student Summit for School Safety Solutions, sponsored by the Maryland State Department of Education, in Greenbelt, Md., on Oct. 27.
State Schools Superintendent Nancy Grasmick welcomed the students by identifying the objective of the summit: discussion of perceptions, problems, causes of and solutions to violence in schools.
U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings charged the students with evaluating their unique situations and folding them into a statewide perspective.
The keynote speaker was LaMarr D. Shields, co-founder and president of the Urban Leadership Institute, who encouraged the students to share their ideas and work together on arriving at a level of consensus on the issue of school violence.
Questions raised for student discussion focused on types of school violence, causes, perpetrators, victims, and what role gangs and bullying play in school violence. The most important question for the students was why ways have not been found to prevent school violence.