Pr. George’s schools chief launches anti-violence effort after 7 teens slain
By Ovetta Wiggins,
Prince George’s County Interim School Superintendent Alvin Crawley announced Thursday night that the school system will launch an anti-violence campaign in the coming weeks in response to the recent teen killings in the county.
“I am deeply saddened by this trend,” Crawley said. “I ask that you join us in keeping our children safe. . .both inside and outside of school.”
Seven teenagers have been killed by gunfire in Prince George’s in the last six month. Three died this week.
“It hurts our hearts when we lose our students,” School Board Chairman Verjeana Jacobs (District 5) said at the opening of the board meeting.
The anti-violence campaign comes on the heels of a county plan to set up a task force with members of the police department, prosecutors, school officials and representatives of interfaith and other nonprofits to address the slayings.
“It is time to channel our pain and anger towards addressing this situation,” County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) said in a statement. “We must work together to break this chain of violent behavior that our young people are resorting to. . . Together we can ensure that our most precious resources have the ability to live out their dreams.”
Crawley said the school system will continue to make grief counselors available at schools and has called for more security on school grounds.
School officials are also encouraging students to report “unsafe events and activities” and instructing them on what to do in the event of a conflict.
Seven teens --Eliezer Reyes, 14; Charles Walker, 15; Marcus Jones, 16; Amber Stanley, 17; Marckel Ross, 18; Aaron Kidd, 18; and Andre Shuford, 18 -- have been slain in the county since Aug. 22.