Dear MCPS Staff and Community,

It is with a heavy heart that I write to address an incident of gun violence that occurred at Magruder High School today. 

The police are still investigating this incident, but here is what we know: This afternoon, a student was found with an injury that appeared to have been caused by a gun. The school was locked down  and police were immediately contacted and arrived quickly. Through their investigation they identified and arrested a student, and a handgun was confiscated. The lockdown was lifted late this afternoon, and students were safely dismissed. We are grateful for the Montgomery County Police Department’s rapid  response and quick work to bring a peaceful resolution to the situation. We are also grateful to the Magruder staff for the work they did to keep students safe and to Magruder’s students for remaining calm and following procedures.

I strongly believe students and staff deserve to learn and work in a safe environment. Our students must feel safe in order to learn effectively. We must make it clear that violence and weapons have absolutely no place in our schools. Anyone found to be in possession of a weapon at a school, on school property, or at a school-sponsored event will be referred to the police. Students will also face serious disciplinary action from the school in alignment with the MCPS Code of Conduct.

Today’s incident weighs heavily on our community’s sense of safety. For many students at Magruder and throughout MCPS, the incident itself and the substantial police presence may be upsetting and traumatizing. These events compound existing anxieties and disruptions that many students are experiencing from the ongoing pandemic. Social and emotional support—including counseling services—will be available for students at Magruder and all of our schools in the coming days and beyond. Any trusted adult in our schools stands ready to connect students with the proper resources to process this incident or discuss any other concerns they may have.

If you or your child becomes aware of a student who has a weapon or is planning to hurt themselves or others, please immediately contact the local police and the school administration.  Anonymous tips can also be reported to the Maryland SafeSchools Tipline at 833-MD-B-SAFE (available 24/7). 

Please keep the student who was injured in your thoughts along with the entire Magruder High School community during this difficult time.  We are all impacted by this incident, and should commit to supporting each other to stop acts of violence in our schools and community.  The following link is a resource for talking to students about violence.  This resource is translated into multiple languages, with links on this page: Talking to Children About Violence.

In the coming days and weeks, MCPS will continue to collaborate with our police and government officials to conduct a thorough review of what occurred today and what steps we need to take to further create a safe environment for students and staff.  I am also committed to working in partnership with students, staff, and families as we all do whatever it takes to keep our schools safe.


Monifa B. McKnight, Ed.D.
Interim Superintendent

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Montgomery County Public Schools