Metal Detectors to be placed in elementary schools

25 Mar

Since the growing number of school shooting tragedies, recently, at Sandy Hook Elementary, gun control has been a raising concern of safety for every school in America. At this present time, even some of Philadelphia schools are beginning to take a different route on school safety and procedures.                                 429849_259874064098958_100002290986553_605941_504098751_n

At John Reynolds Elementary School, which is located in North Philadelphia, elementary teacher, Carol Porter a 7-year-old student told her he had a gun in his backpack. After this incident, a serious discussion on adding metal detectors to schools around the city almost immediately followed. According to Philly.com, the school district has recovered six handguns and 31 BB guns this school year alone. Last year, only two 24 BB or pellet guns had been confiscated.

Shortly after that, a school officer, located at another district elementary school, glanced and happened to see a knife lever sticking out of a student’s bag as kids went into the school. The officer blocked the student from entering, and then found a 12-inch sharp knife.The district is aiming to prevent senseless gun tragedy, but this didn’t  stopped school administrators from consider to place metal detectors in elementary schools to increase security measures. Philadelphia’s Police Chief Inspector Cynthia Dorsey, who is in charge of the district’s Office of School Safety commented, “We want to get ahead of things. That’s what scans do; they put us ahead of things. They prevent a weapon from getting in school. The threat of, a weapon getting into a school, concerns us,”. She warned that the debate about placing metal detectors at elementary schools is the beginning and element of a widespread review of the district procedures because of a 5-year-old Nailla Robinson who was abducted from Bryant Elementary School in West Philly earlier this year. Dorsey added that scanning young children is a “very, very touchy subject, “however the district must consider it. Presently, most high schools now have walk-through metal detectors. A number of middle schools do also. However there are no elementary schools that have machines that scan for weapons.

Nationally, related trends have surfaced. Most school institutions have some type of scanning device, but it is very uncommon to find a metal detector in elementary. The discussion on this topic continues to go underway in reference to stir of the shooting rampage in Newtown, Connecticut.

“I believe that we’ll have to look and see what the trends are, but I also do believe, realistically, we have to consider (that) if we’re finding weapons, is there anything we’re not picking up?” Dorsey asked. “We’re not checking every bag, and we don’t want to stigmatize young children, but if we can prevent one assault, if we can prevent one tragedy, we need to look at other means.”

Director of the National School Safety Center , Ronald Stephens commented, “Our schools are not designed as places to be defended,”, he added. “They’re quite open and accessible. It’s pretty easy in most elementary schools to hop the fence or enter another way. Metal scanners might be helpful,” Stephens said. “It will certainly harden the target a bit, but if a school district is expecting metal scanners to be a foolproof strategy, they’re barking up the wrong tree. My suggestion to school districts is don’t build the moat just yet.”

President of National School Safety and Security Services, Ken Trump, warns parents and schools to refrain from responding too swiftly, this could have an impact on schools drastically through cost and school image. The price of hiring and educating staff must be put into consideration. The cost of equipment is one of the main obstacles. Metal detectors total estimate starts at $2,000 each. The view of a jail-type culture is something schools must stay clear of.

POLL

(Source, school security.org)

The National Association of School Psychologists affirm that schools should avoid exaggerating severe security measures as it may destabilize the learning environment. They also state there is no apparent proof the use of metal detectors may put a stop to school violence, and that the research is insufficient in verifying if metal detectors decrease the possibility of violent actions among students and strangers that step on school grounds.

Some parents and neighbors were interviewed outside of Reynolds middle school, in North Philadelphia and seemed to weigh in on their opinions when they heard the idea of metal detectors being placed in elementary schools.”I think they should. It would make the kids safer,” said Rasheed Ferrell, who has several nieces and nephews who attend Reynolds. “There’s nothing wrong with metal detectors. “I’m surprised they never installed them before [Newtown]. They need to tighten security up at every school now,” he said.

Keith Perkins, a father of three children at the school, said he favors the idea “100 percent.””They bring guns to school, so with metal detectors they catch them before they get into the school. Nip that right in the bud at the door,” Perkins added.Some 88% of voters at debate.org voted in support of metal detectors being placed in schools. They could be placed at the entrance spot of schools. They will be inspecting every individual that enters the grounds of the school. Any weapon found will be discovered upon entering the school.

Fortunately, there have been no firearm-related incidents, however, school officials are still considering the proposal for metal detectors to prevent any dangerous incidents. ”We want to get ahead of things. That’s what scans do; they put us ahead of things. They prevent a weapon from getting in school. The threat of a weapon getting into a school concerns us,” said Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Cynthia Dorsey.

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