Broward County Schools Buy Metal Detectors for All Campuses
The district already uses metal detectors at its athletic events, and the new wands are in the process of being purchased.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida – In response to a record number of gun violence incidents and social media threats, Broward County Public Schools will be adding metal detectors to all of its campuses.
On December 17, there was a threat of a gun on the campus of South Plantation High School, and a 16-year-old student was found with a gun at Miramar High School that same day.
The district already uses metal detectors at football and basketball games, and the new wands are in the process of being purchased.
Metal detector use on K-12 campuses is a controversial topic with there being pros and cons to their implementation. Some practices recommended by school security experts on the use of metal detectors include:
- For K-12 schools, conduct searches randomly so students don’t know when they will be checked for weapons. Schools might consider randomly drawing classroom numbers and search every student in a selected classroom. For special events, try an alternating sequence of random selection.
- Develop a secondary screening procedure for individuals who set off the initial detector. Usually, the secondary screening procedure includes hand-held metal detectors.
- Deploy good access control throughout campus so a weapons violator can’t dodge an inspection point by going around the building and handing the weapons to someone through an open window or other door.
- Train officers, administrators and faculty on how to detect a weapon with visual screening.
- The screening process should be fast. Be very mindful of throughput so that students, patients and visitors can get to their classes and appointments on time.
- Have officers frequently check the areas (such as bushes) where weapons can be hidden that are outside the checkpoint to see if weapons or other illegal items have been dumped.
The Broward County School District is no stranger to gun violence. Four years ago, an expelled student came onto campus and opened fire on students and staff. Seventeen students and staff members were killed, and 17 others were injured.
The tragedy led to significant school safety legislation.