Maryland Parents for Education (MPFE) praised Delegate Joseline Pena-Melnyk and Senator Roger Manno for introducing a new school security grant program bill (HB 1161).
The new bill will authorize the Maryland Center for School Safety to make grants for security related projects. Schools and childcare centers deemed at risk for hate crimes or ideological attacks will be eligible for the grants.
In the wake of increased threats and incidents, the Teach Advocacy Network (a Jewish national partner organization of MPFE) is urging legislatures across the U.S. to increase security funding for children in at-risk schools and childcare centers. In Maryland, the Rockville and Baltimore Jewish Community Centers, and the Charles E. Smith Day School in Rockville were recently targeted with bomb threats.
“We are very grateful to Delgate Pena-Melnyk and Senator Manno for introducing this important bill,” said Yehuda Neuberger, Co-Chair of Maryland Parents for Education. “Too many religious schools, of all types, face threats, and these sponsors have recognized that the state has an important role in ensuring the safety of all our children.”
“HB 1161 is a tremendous first start, and we look forward to working with the Maryland legislature over the coming weeks and months to make sure at risk schools can access the security equipment they need to keep our children safe,” said Sam Melamed, Co-Chair of Maryland Parents for Education.
“The Teach Advocacy Network has worked to increase security for school children for several years, but the recent increase in anti-Semitic incidents brings a new urgency to this mission,” said Maury Litwack, Teach Advocacy Network’s executive director. “We urge the Maryland legislature to act immediately and pass HB 1161.”