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Carver scare points to need for mental health services, not ID cards

I am a senior at Carver Center for Arts and Technology, and to say that I was shocked by recent events involving my school is a gross understatement ("Student accused of planning shooting at Carver is charged as an adult," Nov. 3). This is a kind of circumstance that I have heard about on the news, but never did I think it would come so close to home.

We put so much emphasis on respect and community at Carver. We pride ourselves on our accepting nature, and it never crossed my mind that we would let someone slip through the cracks. One thing that I never heard any student say was: "At least we had our One-Cards or things could have been much worse." One-Cards, the new ID system implemented in many Baltimore County public schools, have done little for Carver other than to take up space in a backpack or purse and to be the butt of a few prison-school jokes the first few days after being received.

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Throughout my high school career, I have seen stricter and stricter security precautions introduced at Baltimore County schools. Carver is perfect proof that they have done barely anything. Making me wear a photo ID around my neck or scanning my mom's license when she wants to pick my little sister up from school is not going to prevent a student from bringing a gun into the school in his backpack. This became apparent to Carver students as the terrifying details of the alleged plot began to come out.

Social media reacted quite calmly. There was no uproar, simply disappointment. Alumni who had graduated long before these security measures were in place were just as shocked as the Carver freshmen. I am not asking for metal detectors, better ID scanners or more police officers. This is not a security issue, this is a mental health issue. This is an issue of a boy who was not given the help he needed because the school system has focused all of its attention and finances (the security cards alone cost an estimated $5 million) on security while school social workers have become increasingly anxious that budget cuts will leave them unemployed.

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Eliana Locke, Pikesville

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