North Carolina school officials discuss impact of metal detectors

21 September 2023

(WGHP) — Student safety is a top priority for leaders in all city and county school systems.

The most recent discovery that made some leaders concerned was at Elkin Elementary School where a loaded magazine and gun were found in a student’s backpack.

Elkin City Schools leaders are now discussing where to get the money to add more protection.

Metal detectors only prevent weapons from getting into school buildings. 

“School safety is ongoing all the time,” said the Director of Operations for the Educator School Safety Network Amanda Klinger.

Every day parents trust teachers, principals and other school staff to keep their kids safe.

“Parents will never forgive you if something happens to their kid on your watch,” Klinger said.

This year, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools leaders decided to perform random security checks at all middle and high schools.

Guilford County Schools uses Evolv touchless body scanners.

Klinger said metal detectors can change how students feel when going to school. 

“Sometimes they can create a false sense of security,” Klinger said.

Klinger supports more in-depth safety measures such as preparing teachers to handle every type of crisis.

“Good communication is still going to be critical in that sort of smaller crisis event or even in something larger where we have … large-scale violence,” Klinger said.

Metal detectors are not the only form of security some of our local school districts have implemented.

It varies from keeping entrances locked at all times, having school resources officers, conducting lockdown and active shooter drills and even emergency apps that can contact police officers for any emergency.

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