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    MCSS Students D.A.R.E to Teach Officers

    The Maryland Center for School Safety (MCSS) had the honor of presenting to Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) officers during their annual in-service conference on April 13, 2022 in Ocean City, Maryland.  According to the D.A.R.E. website, D.A.R.E. curriculum “is the most comprehensive drug prevention curricula in the world, taught in thousands of schools throughout America’s 50 states and its territories, as well as in 50+ other countries, reaching more than 1.5 million students annually.” 

    The annual D.A.R.E. conference provides officers an opportunity to gain valuable  information while also developing strategies and practical skills to better serve their students and the community as a whole. A large number of D.A.R.E. officers serve as School Resource Officers (SROs) in their respective schools.

    During the 2022 Maryland D.A.R.E. Conference, MCSS School Safety Analyst, Sandy Caldwell, provided officers with important details about Safe Schools Maryland (SSMD), the State’s only school and student safety anonymous reporting system. SSMD is available to all K-12 schools in Maryland and allows anyone to submit an anonymous tip. Reports can be submitted in three ways including: 

    1. calling the Safe Schools Anonymous Reporting System hotline (1-833-MD-B-SAFE / 1-833-632-7233); 
    2. completing an online form at; or 
    3. utilizing the free Safe Schools Maryland app, which can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.​ 

    Following Ms. Caldwell’s presentation, MCSS Student Focus Group members, Claire Cabral, Henry Meiser, Bethany Niehaus, and Brendon Dunne presented to over 120 D.A.R.E. officers. The Student Focus Group members provided insight into popular apps, including TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, and Omegle. D.A.R.E. Officers learned how students were using these apps and the Student Focus Group members provided real-life examples of how these apps can, if not monitored properly, negatively impact the lives of students.  

    MCSS Student Focus Group members speak at the annual D.A.R.E Conference

    The MCSS  Student Focus Group was created to ensure that Maryland youth are given the opportunity to provide feedback and recommendations regarding school safety issues that are pertinent to them. Middle school and high school students participate in the focus group to address pertinent school safety issues and support school safety initiatives by:  

    • helping devise marketing tactics for and provide feedback on existing MCSS initiatives;
    • surveying their county’s/city’s students on various topics; and
    • acting as a pilot group for implementing new ideas.

    MCSS appreciates the excellent work of the 2021-2022 Student Focus Group and will be announcing our 2022-2023 members soon.