Gun-related incidents rock MCPS


Screengrab by Maeve Sanford-Kelly

The official Magruder HS Twitter page thanks fellow MCPS schools for their messages of support. There has been an outpouring of love from around the County for the staff and students at Magruder including wearing grey and blue on Tuesday, January 25.

On Friday, Jan. 21, a student was shot during school hours in a school bathroom at Magruder High School. Later, a Walter Johnson student enrolled in Montgomery County’s virtual academy was arrested with weapons in his possession.

Another Magruder student was taken into custody after an investigation by police, and the student shot is currently in the hospital in critical condition. Students witnessed the shooting but did not intervene or seek help. Instead, they posted to social media.

Following the incident, Principal Jennifer Baker sent out an email to the WJ community, addressing the concerns as well as notifying the community of another incident that occurred with a WJ student.

In her email, Baker attached a letter addressed to the community from Dr. Monifa McKnight, the interim superintendent, who highlighted that weapons have no place in school, a subject Baker also emphasized in her email.

Baker assures everyone that safety is WJ’s top priority and adjustments are being made to ensure the safety of staff and students across WJ.

Still, some students feel uneasy and confused with the current circumstances.

“Confusing, I’m confused. The whole thing was just like, very odd, and obviously like a little bit scary too,” senior Nicole Neuvelt said.

On Tuesday, Jan. 25, during English classes, students were shown a “WJ Check-In” presentation which encompassed all of the information about the incident at Magruder. This presentation was designed to help ease some of the discomforts for staff and students as the community grapples with these incidents.

Students acknowledge the efforts that MCPS is making to ensure their safety and appreciate them, but also realize that this is part of a much bigger problem.

“It’s awful that events like these serve as reminders, but really that’s what they are. I still feel helpless knowing that true change has to come from the top, which will likely not occur while our generation is most likely to be impacted. I appreciate all that MCPS does at a local level, especially in the fallout, but I also hope that they don’t need another tragedy to make a difference.

— senior Andres Zalowitz

Baker will continue to update the community as she receives more information and assures everyone that the school is a safe space for everyone.

“I know that reading a message such as this is very unsettling, but it is critical and emphasizes the need to unite to stop any further violence in our schools. We all need to commit to behavior that is conducive to learning and a safe school environment. We are a strong community and our unity makes us even stronger. I am personally committed to doing everything I can to assure our school is a wonderful place where students, staff and our families can thrive,” Baker said.