January 29, 2022

USA: In Maryland, A Black 17-Year-Old Magruder High School Student Arrested Held Without Bail Following A Shooting At School On Jan 21, 2022. Commie Democrat Eliminated School Police.

WUSA9 published January 24, 2022: Magruder High School shooting suspect held without bond. A 17-year-old student at Colonel Magruder High is being held without bond in a juvenile facility after a 15-year-old sophomore was found shot in the school bathroom.
LiveNOW from FOX published January 25, 2022: Students tweeted about school shooting instead of calling 911, police say. During a shooting incident at Magruder High School in Rockville, Maryland, some students were tweeting about the suspect and victims instead of calling police for help, the Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones said at a press conference. The 17-year-old suspect allegedly used a ghost gun in the shooting that left a 15-year-old student in critical condition.
Again with blaming the damn gun and not the person holding the gun. (emphasis mine)
Fox5 News, Washington D.C. local
written by FOX 5 DC Digital Team
Tuesday January 25, 2022

ROCKVILLE, Md. - Steven Alston Jr. has been arrested and charged in the shooting that left a 15-year-old Magruder High School student fighting for his life. Here's what we know about the suspect:

- 17-year-old Magruder High School student

- Taken into custody about two hours after the shooting happened Friday afternoon

- Prosecutors say he bought parts for the 9 mm ghost gun used in the shooting online and assembled it with a friend

- Charged as an adult with attempted second-degree murder, felony assault and weapons offenses

- Pointed the weapon at the victim's head and when the victim pushed the gun away, shot the victim in the pelvis area, according to the Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office.

- After the shooting, Alston allegedly went to a classroom with other students and was found with the magazine with nine bullets in his sock

- His attorney Lucy Larkins asked the judge to allow the teen to be released to home detention so he could take classes virtually

- Denied bond and remains in custody
WUSA9 published January 27, 2022: 'You want to remain strong for your child' | Magruder High mom recalls moment she heard son was shot. Mother of 15-year-old DeAndre Thomas presses for return of Montgomery County school resource officers and advocates for "ghost gun" ban.

ABC7 News
written by Kevin Lewis, Montgomery County Reporter (7News)
Wednesday January 26th 2022

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. — Will politicians reinstate school resource officers at Montgomery County's public high schools? That is a question on the minds of many parents, students, and school system employees, but that no official has provided a definitive answer to.

On Friday, an 11th grader at Col. Zadok Magruder High School in Derwood allegedly shot a 10th grader in a school bathroom with a ghost gun that he purchased online. The shooting happened five months after Montgomery County Public Schools ended its school resource officer program, which had been in place for 19 years.

During a press conference Monday, MCPS Interim Superintendent Monifa McKnight stated that police officers would be stationed in all of the county's public schools this week, particularly during morning arrival, lunch, and afternoon dismissal. McKnight did not specifically commit to a longer time frame.

“We have been granted, and have talked with the county executive. We are going to have a police presence in all of our high schools over the next week. We have shared this value that if there is a police incident that occurs in the school, we deem it appropriate to have the police officers in that school, and so we are going to provide that support," McKnight said, noting that administrators and individual schools will determine what the police presence "needs to look like" in the weeks, months, and years ahead.

One television news reporter asked McKnight if she would like to see the SROs brought back on a more permanent basis.

“I don’t want to see any particular program come back that we have learned doesn’t, or there are dynamics of a program that doesn’t work," McKnight replied. "And that’s what we learned from the SRO program. Yes, there were positives to that program, but there were also negatives to the program. And so, it’s more about what are we looking at and what type of environment do we want to create in our schools that creates a safe one and one that’s built on the premise on relationship building.”
"Good morning! Good morning, everyone," one officer said while holding a big white sign that read, "YOU ARE LOVED!"

Unlike MCPS' 208 other schools, Magruder was on an early release schedule Tuesday. MCPS said it would provide students with the ability to seek mental health support.

Although McKnight did not commit to specifics, she made clear that complacency with the status quo is not a suitable option. She further promised to oversee a thorough appraisal of school safety standards.

“It really will be a pretty comprehensive review of all safety and security measures in our schools, and we’re going to do that. It started today, it’s going to continue this week, and we’re going to continue to do that comprehensive review of all of the practices over the coming weeks and we will be back to share exactly what that looks like with our community... We’ve got to talk about security, how it can be enhanced tomorrow, the days to come, and the weeks to come, with the very serious issue that we’re facing.”


In the wake of George Floyd's murder and the social justice movement that followed, Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich (D) and certain members of the Montgomery County Council lobbied for the elimination of the SRO program, arguing that the program fueled a school-to-prison pipeline for Black and brown students, among other criticisms.

"We know that when there are police in schools, there are disciplinary actions that disproportionately affect our students of color. That is the fact," Councilmember Evan Glass (D-At Large) stated during a May 13, 2021, virtual council meeting. "And if we want our kids to feel safe in school, particularly our children of color, who make up a majority of our student population, we need to figure out new policies to make them feel safe in school."

During a March 4, 2021, virtual public hearing on a council bill to eliminate SROs, constituents provided a mixed bag of opinions on the hot-button issue.

Shortly before the start of the 2021-2022 school year, school and county officials agreed to dismantle the SRO program. Officials created the community engagement officer program, or CEO for short, in its place.

The plan called for certain Montgomery County law enforcement officers to be assigned to patrol beats near schools, but not to be stationed at or inside school buildings. It was agreed upon that CEOs would respond to schools, but only when serious issues arose.

Sgt. Jason Cupeta with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office is the CEO assigned to Magruder High School, officials have confirmed. That is why Cupeta responded alone to Magruder after the 911 center dispatched police at 1:03 p.m. Friday for a student with a possible stab wound. Cupeta arrived at Magruder around 1:12 p.m.

According to Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones, the second police unit arrived at around 1:33 p.m., 30 minutes after the initial police dispatch and 40 minutes after school security located the student victim critically injured in the bathroom.

“When the school system called, everyone was there, and they were there promptly saying, ‘What is my role and what can I do to help?’” McKnight said in reference to law enforcement's response time.

As of Wednesday morning, more than 4,800 people had signed a Change.org petition, calling for Montgomery County officials to reinstate the SRO program.

"Since school started on August 30, 2021, there have been numerous fights, school lockdowns, and multiple on-campus stabbings. It is clear that defunding SROs was a huge mistake," the online petition reads in part.


Four of the nine councilmembers attended Monday's press conference: Council President Gabe Albornoz (D-At Large), Councilmember Nancy Navarro (D-District 4), Councilmember Craig Rice (D-District 2), and Councilmember Hans Riemer (D-At Large). Albornoz, Navarro, Rice, and Riemer did not make comments.

Councilmember Will Jawando (D-At Large) who has, arguably, been the most ardent opponent of SROs on the council, was not in attendance at Monday's press conference nor at a press conference that followed Friday's shooting.

On Tuesday, Jawando and his fellow councilmembers wore blue and white clothing during their virtual council hearing to stand in solidarity with Magruder. Jawando tweeted a selfie of his outfit and called for tougher gun laws and more mental health resources for students, but made no mention of SROs.
“I don’t have any problem with what they’re doing this week," Elrich, a former public school educator remarked. "I think we’ve all agreed to that and we’ve all agreed to talk about this over the next week and to see what they think is the best approach.”

7News asked Elrich if he felt MCPS' SRO program was eliminated in haste, in turn, making it a less than seamless transition.

“I don’t know if the transition wasn’t seamless, but I do know that we don’t know what the effect of an SRO would have been or would not have been in this particular case, which is why we’re talking about it to try to understand what you might do differently and how we might modify what we’re doing," Elrich added.
“I want to be very clear. It is not just a school problem, but a community-wide problem," McKnight commented. "Guns and weapons have become increasingly common in our community and it’s going to take an entire community to solve this.”

According to McKnight, MCPS is providing Magruder students with the time they need to properly digest their emotions, even if it means staying home from school this week.

“Any student who may not feel comfortable yet, who are still dealing with the anxieties of what they may have witnessed or experienced on Friday, over the next couple of days because of our concerns around safety and support for the community, any student who feels like that impact has been great and they cannot attend school, we’re going to provide them with an excused access.”

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