Letter to the Editor:
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who were involved in last Friday's incident at Leonardtown High School. Friday was a long, stressful day for many people.
First, let me thank the many law enforcement officers from our Sheriff's Office, Calvert and Charles County Sheriff's Offices, and the Maryland State Police who responded quickly and worked all day to ensure the safety of the children and the staff of Leonardtown High School, the Alternative Learning Center, the James F. Forrest Technology Center and the Leonardtown Middle School. A special thanks to Lt. John Horne, St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office (Incident Commander), and the rest of the Sheriff's Office command staff, who maintained and managed the scene. Thanks also to the Department of Public Safety and the Emergency Medical Services personnel for their support and assistance throughout the entire ordeal.
I would like to thank Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano, Commissioner President Thomas McKay and Senator Roy Dyson who stood beside me and jointly made collaborated decisions throughout the day.
I especially would like to try to put into words my appreciation for all the school staff members and the students of all the schools for their patience, endurance and cooperation. I cannot speak highly enough of the professionalism of the staff members who endured the day locked down with limited information. They kept their cool, maintained order and kept the students out of harms way. The students were great. They were respectful and cooperative with all the instructions given to them by the Emergency Service Team officers. I salute you all for a job well done.
Lastly, let me thank the parents of all the students who came to the County Fairgrounds and to those who did not. You all were "nervous, but calm" as one of you so eloquently stated. You should be commended for maintaining order and peacefully, yet anxiously, awaited informational updates throughout the day. Your calm and collected attitudes made a tough day a little easier.
If you are a law enforcement officer, county staff member, school staff member, student or parent of a student, you should be proud. Friday was one of those days that happens somewhere else, but not here in St. Mary's County. Be proud that the day ended well and everyone went home safe.
David D. Zylak
St. Mary's County, Maryland