Senator Eckardt’s update: Weekly Spotlight on School Safety

By Addie Eckardt, Special to Dorchester Banner
Posted 5/10/22

ANNAPOLIS - Last Friday, Mace’s Lane Middle School launched a new state-of-the-art weapons detection system for all staff, students and parents entering the building. This system was funded …

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Senator Eckardt’s update: Weekly Spotlight on School Safety

Posted

ANNAPOLIS - Last Friday, Mace’s Lane Middle School launched a new state-of-the-art weapons detection system for all staff, students and parents entering the building. This system was funded through state grants and is the first of its kind in the state.

This year, there was $20.6 million allocated in the budget to aid local governments with school safety grants that will advance projects like this that help to keep our future generations safe while they are receiving their education. The state also increased funding for school-based health centers that provide primary medical care as well as social and mental health services by 250.5%, with funding increasing to $9.1 million.

Legislation also passed this year that will codify the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Support Services Program within the Maryland State Department of Education. The program must aid children enrolled in the program by (1) referring children and families in need of intensive mental or behavioral health services to appropriate clinics or programs; (2) training, coaching and mentoring teachers and caregivers to address challenging behaviors; (3) building partnerships with community resources; (4) working to ensure children have stable, quality child care programs; and (5) awarding grants to carry out the program. Beginning in fiscal 2024, the governor must include an appropriation of $3.0 million in the annual state budget for the program.

Copeland in American Idol

Jeremiah (Jay) Copeland has been singing since he was a young boy. He graduated from James M. Bennett High School and Salisbury University. During his senior year, he won the National Association of Teachers of Singing Contest (NATS). He is currently a contestant on American Idol and has made it to the final 10. Congratulations, Jay! We are rooting for you!

Emergency Education Relief grants

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development through the Office of Statewide Broadband is administering funding for the Maryland Emergency Education Relief Grant Program.

Read the Maryland Emergency Education Relief Grant Program Notice of Funding Availability. 

The MEER grant program is designed to provide relief to K-12 students and related school staff to close the gap for students who lack necessary internet access or the devices they need to connect to classrooms. Eligible applicants are schools, libraries and anchor institutions. Given their purpose, the grant opportunity will help communities close existing gaps and lay the groundwork for improved broadband access, adoption and utilization.

The program provides grants of between $50,000 and $350,000 for up to 100% of the eligible program costs. Funding will be provided for qualifying expenses and projects completed between Sept. 1, 2021, and Sept. 15, 2022.

$14 million is available for this program. The funding source for the program is the governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund. The fund and all federal rules required of the funding apply to the program.

For more information, visit the website or contact dhcd.communitysafety@maryland.gov.

National Prescription Drug Takeback Day was April 30

According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, most addictions to opioids start with misuse of a prescription found in a friend or family member’s medicine cabinet. Even if none of your expired medications are addictive opioids, it is extremely dangerous to take any prescription without the supervision of a doctor, physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner.

When a takeback program is not available, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends following these steps:

  • Mix the medication with used coffee grounds or cat litter and dish soap.
  • Put the mixture in a sealable bag or a disposable container with a lid.
  • Remove the prescription number and any personal information from the original prescription label.
  • Dispose of the medicine and its original container in a trash can.

Do not flush unwanted medicines down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless the prescription label specifically says that is the correct disposal process.

Although the National Prescription Drug Takeback Day was April 30, checking your cabinet for expired or unwanted medicines and dropping them off at a collection site is something that can be done at any time.

Visit dea.gov/takebackday to find a collection site near you.