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    Middle and High School Students Encouraged to Apply for Maryland School Safety Group

    The Maryland Center for School Safety (MCSS) has released its Student Focus Group Application

    Promoting school safety requires collaboration between, listening to, and learning from diverse perspectives – and the efforts, voices, and viewpoints of students may be the most important of all when it comes to any discussion focused on school safety. 

    With this in mind, the Maryland Center for School Safety (MCSS) has released its application for the 2021-2022 Student Focus Group (SFG). Maryland middle and high school students interested in creating positive safety-related change in schools across the state are encouraged to apply as soon as possible, as applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. New in 2021, MCSS has the goal of growing the group to include representatives for each Maryland county.

    “From developing innovative new ways to promote our Safe Schools Maryland anonymous reporting system to improving our website content and overall outreach efforts, SFG members’ suggestions are extremely important to us.” said MCSS Communications and Media Specialist Emily Allen Lucht.  “Student perspectives are critical because at the end of the day, Maryland’s schools exist for students – and we want to do all we can to ensure their safety – with their input.” SFG members are regularly able to convey their priorities to the MCSS Advisory Board, which in turn provides recommendations that guide the work of MCSS. 

    Becoming an SFG member brings with it the opportunity to

    • learn more about the diversity of current school and student safety-related issues around the state and around the country
    • develop government relations and leadership skills
    • gain exposure to the inner workings of important state agencies and boards. 

    In its inaugural year, members of the SFG attended presentations and provided feedback to presenters who explored topics such as mental health, suicide prevention, the role of the School Resource Officer, cyberbullying laws, and other school safety topics and issue SFG members deemed to important.  SFG members also created school safety content and participated in Instagram Live conversations,  which were shared on MCSS’s social media channels. 

    Here is what some of the current members think about the group:

    • “It was a really interesting and enlightening experience that taught me the behind-the-scenes of school safety. Most assume that it’s higher officials, however we rely so much on student feedback!”
    • “I love being part of this group. Unlike other groups I have been involved in, I feel like I am truly making a large impact outside the group.”
    • “I feel that I am working towards something larger than myself, and there is no better feeling than that. I love the interaction.”

    Those selected to join this important group will be appointed for a one-year term commencing June 1, 2021 and ending May 31, 2022, though current members are invited to reapply for membership through twelfth grade. Students are encouraged to apply if they are interested in becoming an active member of a group that is seeking energized and enthusiastic students who are ready to spend no fewer than ten hours each month on group activities and initiatives, though that number could be even higher depending on the exact responsibilities taken on by or assigned to a specific member. 

    Are you ready to apply to become a member of the SFG? Or do you know a student who would be a great fit for this influential group full of budding leaders?  

    If so, learn more and find the full application here or on our website by clicking the About menu, then clicking on the “Student Focus Group” tab, and finally selecting the “Click to Apply” button.