Mayor Scott Announces School-Based Violence Intervention Pilot Programming

Crest of the City of Baltimore

Brandon M. Scott
Mayor,
Baltimore City
250 City Hall - Baltimore Maryland 21202
(410) 396-3835 - Fax: (410) 576-9425

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT
Monica Lewis


MONSE to Work in Partnership with Baltimore Public Schools to Establish Three School-Based Violence Intervention Programs

BALTIMORE, MD. (Tuesday, October 25, 2022) - Today, Mayor Brandon M. Scott announced a partnership with Baltimore City Public Schools (City Schools) to establish school-based violence intervention pilot programs in three Baltimore City public schools including Mergenthaler Vocational Technical High School, Carver Vocational Technical High School, and Digital Harbor High School.

School-based specialists will work with youth, school administrators, and families to shift community norms about the acceptability of violence, create a positive school climate, strengthen youth's problem-solving and conflict management skills and strengthen students' academic performance. This includes building interpersonal skills in communication, problem-solving, conflict resolution and management, empathy, emotional regulation management, and behavioral skills.

"Impactful and sustainable change begins with our young people. For the first time in Baltimore, we are meeting them where they are and integrating intervention methods into their daily lives," said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. "As leaders and educators, it is our responsibility to ensure that our young people have all of the tools they need to not just survive but thrive."

Criteria for identifying host schools were based on the number of arrests, diversions, and disciplinary actions as a result of violence, including suspensions of students, the availability of a restorative specialist, and the school's capacity to support a pilot program. Each school will employ three school-based violence interrupters who will be trained to mediate conflicts that could result in violent behavior. A community-based organization will be selected to provide oversight of the program, along with the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement (MONSE).

"Many of our students have unfortunately experienced more trauma than many adults have experienced in a lifetime, and we must recognize that this does not just go away once they enter the school building," said Director Shantay Jackson of the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement. "Giving them the tools to resolve their conflicts in ways that do not cause harm physically or emotionally are invaluable life skills that they can use daily. We are proud to partner with a school system that recognizes that the development and cultivation of emotional intelligence saves lives."

The school-based violence intervention staff members will provide support to students who are identified as being at a high-risk of participating in violence and partner with faculty to shift the cultural norms of violence and provide restorative practices to combat violent behavior through five intervention strategies including essential life skills training, conflict mediation training, academic remediation, emotional wellness. In addition, eight student ambassadors per school will be selected to assist with program implementation and will also be connected to existing community violence intervention programming.

Student ambassadors will also receive weekly stipends for their participation. During the summer and

other school breaks, staff will continue engaging students and connect them with training, enrichment
activities, and mentoring.

"No one organization alone - whether it be the City of Baltimore, Baltimore City Public Schools (City

Schools), or Baltimore Police - can tackle violence in our community. We must collaborate and engage to
make our city safer," said Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Dr. Sonja Santelises. "Violence claimed the
lives of 12 school-aged children last academic year, and City Schools relies on community partnerships
like MONSE and Mayor Scott's pilot program to reduce the violence through alternative solutions that
address the real issues behind the harm."

The school-based violence intervention programming will begin during the spring semester of the 2022-

2023 school year.

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