November 15, 2018

Grant Aids Recovery Efforts at Great Mills HS

Reform

Recovery efforts at Great Mills High School will be helped by a $190,000 federal grant announced by Congressman Steny H. Hoyer and Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD). The grant has been secured for St. Mary’s County Public Schools and will be marked for GMHS to aid the ongoing recovery effort of students, faculty, and staff after the tragic school shooting that took place in March.

“Ensuring our students feel safe in their schools must be a top priority of lawmakers in Congress,” said Congressman Hoyer (D-Md., 5th). “As our community continues to heal following March’s tragic shooting, I’m pleased that the Department of Education has awarded these funds to Great Mills High School as both students and faculty need mental health resources readily available.”

Still, Congressman Hoyer said Congress needs to be doing more to prevent gun violence in schools. He said meaningful action would include commonsense background check laws and banning assault weapons.

“Incidents of school violence tear at my heart. The members of the Great Mills High School community need time and the right tools to help deal with the lasting, invisible scars that can rob the ability to focus on learning. The Project SERV funds will help SMCPS fulfill the current and future mental health needs of those individuals,” said Sen. Cardin.

“Recovering from tragedy takes time and support. These increased resources will help the community move forward and ensure students and teachers have access to the services they may need. As a parent, I know there’s nothing more important than knowing your child is safe. I will continue fighting in Congress to improve our school safety and meaningfully address gun violence,” said Sen. Van Hollen.

The $189,202 grant that has been announced through the US Department of Education Project SERV program will provide targeted support for students, faculty, and staff feel safe at GMHS through the availability of evening and daytime counseling. Through partnerships with the St. Mary’s County Health Department and MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital, people will have access to the counseling support across the street from GMHS. As a part of the continuing recovery efforts, SMCPS will give additional training to school counselors and school psychologists through St. Mary’s County to help individuals after this traumatic event. SMCPS also plans to use to money to hire additional substitutes to allow staff to access supports and take time for recovery. In hopes of preventing future tragedies, SMCPS will use the grant money to hire more safety assistants to secure SMCPS school buildings.

Project SERV funds short-term and long-term education-related services for local educational sites and institutions of higher education to help them in recovering from a violent or traumatic event that has disrupted the learning environment.

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For more information about House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer, visit his Leader Page.

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