Several Palm Beach County public schools will get metal detectors.
The Palm Beach County School District is going to try putting metal detectors in a number of high schools as part of a pilot project.
Board members we’ve spoken with say having metal detectors in some high schools is something they definitely want to try. Whether it will be a permanent addition to schools is still to be decided.
“We’re doing it as an added layer of security at some community members’ and parents’ request and some principals’ request. Anything that will make our staff members and our students feel safer can only be a good thing,” said Barbara McQuinn, Palm Beach County School Board member.
When some high school students arrive at school in the morning, they’ll soon have to go through a metal detector.
The Palm Beach County School District is going to try using metal detectors at some high schools under a pilot project.
John I. Leonard High School in Greenacres will get metal detectors on a trial basis. The school district police chief says which other high schools will get metal detectors is still to be determined.
“Is anything 100%? It isn’t 100%. But I think it’s my understanding these units are portable so again, if the students don’t know ahead of time what schools they’ll be at, I think that’s a great deterrent,” McQuinn said.
“Have the schools become really that dangerous that we even have to talk about this?” we asked Frank Barbieri, Palm Beach County School Board chair.
“No. Again, I said no, the schools have not become so dangerous. It’s just that we want to make sure that we use every tool possibly available to ensure that the schools are as safe as possible and this is just one more tool that we’ll be able to use if it works,” Barbieri said.
Barbieri says the school district has talked about using metal detectors at some schools in the past, but they weren’t sure they could get thousands of students through metal detectors rapidly each morning without delaying the start of classes.
“There are companies out there that say that their equipment will handle that many students going through. So if we can get it done logistically, I think it’s a great idea,” Barbieri said.
Police say it would be smart to put metal detectors in every school, not just high schools.
“Metal detectors are definitely a tool to be used. I think it’s a deterrent and I think anything we can do to protect and fortify our schools is a brilliant move,” said West Palm Beach Police Deputy Chief Richard Morris.
The school district police chief says the metal detector equipment has already been ordered from a vendor and once it arrives, they will have to train school administrative staff how to use it.
They hope to have the metal detectors installed in several high schools before the current school year ends. The school district police chief said she did not know what the pilot project will cost.
Source : CBS 12 News