The Maryland School for the Deaf is committed to providing a positive, safe and welcoming learning environment for all students. In addition to the training and resources provided to all MSD staff members, the following resources are available to our families.
— Mental Health
Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM) Mental Health Resources for Parents of Adolescents and Young Adults
MSD's Mental Health Team
MSD provides school-based mental health services during the instructional day. These services are provided by certified school counselors, social workers, and psychologists, who work collaboratively with teachers, administration, and families to support the learning and well-being of students. The mental health team members provide direct and indirect counseling services, promote positive school culture and climate, and facilitate linkages between the school and community-based resources and providers. Families and staff members are encouraged to contact the mental health team with questions or concerns. MSD School Psychologist and Director of Mental Health & Behavioral Support Services, Dr. Joseph Smail, is available at [email protected] to consult and ensure your child receives appropriate support.
— Bullying, Harassment, or Intimidation
MSD's Bullying, Harassment, or Intimidation Policy
The Maryland School for the Deaf (MSD) is committed to providing a safe, productive, and inclusive environment. Bullying problems are symptomatic of relationship problems best addressed holistically by students, schools, parents/caregivers, and the entire community. Maryland schools should be places where students are surrounded by caring adults who encourage students to treat others with kindness and empathy, while helping to build a relationship-focused, welcoming, supportive school environment fostering academic and personal growth for every student.
Making a Report
Parents/Guardians, school staff, students, and members of the community have the right to report incidents of bullying, harassment, or intimidation to the school. The Bullying, Harassment, or Intimidation Reporting Form should be used to report any alleged incidents that occurred during the current school year on school property, at a school-sponsored activity or event off school property, on a school bus, on the way to and/or from school, or through electronic communication on or off school property. This form can be found on our website at this link or in the principal's office. School staff will address incidents that occur at school or have a connection or nexus back to the school setting that create a risk of harm to other students while they are at school or interfere with the educational environment.
The Bullying, Harassment, or Intimidation Investigation Form is a tool for school administration or an administrative designee to investigate reports of bullying, harassment, or intimidation that have been documented on a Bullying, Harassment, or Intimidation Form to promptly and appropriately investigate reports of bullying, harassment, or intimidation consistent with due process rights, within two school days after receipt of a reporting form or as timely as possible for school administration or administrative designee.
— Child Abuse and Neglect
Adults are responsible for ensuring that children have safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), child abuse and neglect are serious public health problems and adverse childhood experiences that can have long-term impacts on health, opportunity, and wellbeing. This issue includes all types of abuse and neglect of a child under the age of 18 by a parent, caregiver, or another person in a custodial role that results in harm, the potential for harm, or threat of harm to a child. There are four common types of abuse and neglect: (1) physical abuse, (2) sexual abuse, (3) emotional abuse, and (4) neglect. By law, educators, coaches, health care workers, and law enforcement officers are mandated reporters, and are required to report suspected abuse or neglect to the local department of social services.
Maryland State Department of Education Division of Early Childhood Development Office of Child Care: Child Abuse, Neglect, and Mental Injury Resource Guide
Child Protective Services
The goal of Child Protective Services (CPS) is to protect children and assist parents or caretakers in providing appropriate care and attention to children. The first priority of CPS is to safely maintain a child in their home and to protect them from experiencing further harm and maltreatment. When parents or caretakers are unable to provide proper and safe care for their child, CPS will work to provide an alternative plan of care. All Maryland citizens should report suspected abuse or neglect to the local department of social services or to a local law enforcement agency. Reports may be made anonymously.
— Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Turn Around Counseling and Support Services to those impacted by Human Trafficking, Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence
Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Comprehensive Services: Baltimore County Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Hotline
24/7 Crisis Hotline: 410-828-6390
Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network
24/7 Crisis Helpline: 1-800-656-4673
24/7 Crisis Helpline: 443-279-0379
— Underage Drinking/Drug Use and Abuse
— Acts of Violence and Terror
Talking to your child about acts of violence or terror is never easy, especially if they're feeling confused, frustrated, or at risk. Such conversations can help your child recognize their fears and feel safer by reestablishing a sense of normalcy and security.
Here are some tips for talking to your child:
- Validate their feelings.
- Be clear, direct, and factual.
- Encourage questions and don't worry if you don't have answers.
- Try to be calm but don't hide your emotions.
- Keep the conversation open.
The National Association of School Psychologists and the National Child Traumatic Stress Network have resources for parents/guardians and teachers in both English and Spanish:
Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers (Also available in Spanish)
— Safe Schools Maryland
The Safe Schools Maryland Tip Line makes it easy to anonymously report possible threats of students and school communities. Information can be reported via a mobile app, online at www.safeschoolsMD.org or by calling 1-833-MD-B-SAFE (1-833-632-7233). Trained technicians will be on call to respond to reports 24 hours a day, seven days a week.