Reporting Jessica Kartalija
DUNDALK, Md. (WJZ) — It was a challenging first 48 hours as the new superintendent of Baltimore County Schools deals with the tragedy at Perry Hall High School.
Jessica Kartalija reports just a month into the job, Dallas Dance was quickly thrust into the spotlight.
It’s the second day schools are in session and the superintendent for Baltimore County Schools, Dallas Dance, fielded questions from reporters.
“We indeed take student safety at every single Baltimore County Public School seriously,” Dance said.
Taking over the role as superintendent in July, Dance is dealing with the tragedy at Perry Hall High School. Just hours into the new school year, a student opened fire inside the school’s cafeteria, hitting a 17-year-old classmate in the back.
Dance was quickly thrust into the spotlight and calmly reassured parents, faculty and students that safety is his number one priority.
“Any time that we have a crisis situation with any of our schools, our protocol is to review and debrief at the end of any incident,” Dance said.
At a news conference in Dundalk, Dance commended Perry Hall High’s faculty for their quick thinking and heroic actions. Early indicative reports show this situation could have been much worse.
At just 31, Dance is the youngest to take on the role as superintendent of Baltimore County Schools in five decades. He came to Baltimore County after holding administrative positions in Texas and Virginia. While he may lack years of experience, Dance has assured the administration he is more than capable of handling difficult situations as they arise.
“We will do everything in our power to make sure that every single Baltimore County public school is indeed safe for our students,” Dance said.
Before getting word of the shooting at Perry Hall High School, Dance was also dealing with a situation at Woodlawn High School, where a student was involved in a serious car accident on the way to school.
Dance also expressed his concern for the victim and his family.