The subject of having metal detectors in schools continues to be a sensitive topic for educators, parents, politicians and government bodies across the United States and around the world. While school campuses continue to see an increase in violent behavior and shooting incidents, school districts are forced to take on additional priorities when it comes to keeping students and faculty members safe. In considering such possibilities as school metal detectors, the advantages and disadvantages are often compared and reviewed in further detail.
Prevent or Reduce Occurrence of Violence
In recent years there have been numerous acts of violence carried out on children of different grade levels that involved guns and knives. Some school districts have taken the situation into their own hands and invested in a walk-through metal detector for the main entrance of their school. Such precautions have been taken at elementary, middle, and high schools. Some schools have reported a decrease in weapons being found on students, along with a decrease in violent behavior.
More Weapons are Found and Removed
Many students who affiliated with gang activities may carry a weapon, yet students who are bullied by others may also carry a weapon. For whatever reason, more students are found to be carrying concealed weapons, drugs or other items considered inappropriate for school aged children. While it is good such items are being confiscated, it still poses a problem as to why students feel they need to carry a weapon and how are they obtaining such items.
Students May Experience Tardiness
Metal detectors often have the accompaniment of security guards who help check students, faculty, backpacks, purses, and other items as you walk through the machine or be checked with a hand-held detector. Sometimes this process can be more time consuming, but people may be willing to sacrifice a few extra minutes to increase building safety.
Cost of Metal Detectors
One of the biggest problems that is preventing schools from getting such devices is due to costs. Walk-through detectors cost more than hand-held devices, plus there are costs in maintaining the device, training personnel on how to operate them, and other expenses. School districts often have to consider a bucket list full of problems and concerns before getting cleared to invest in such a device.
Legal Rights Being Put to the Test
Many people feel uncomfortable at the idea of being searched every time you enter and leave a building. Some feel that the whole search and seizure process is unnecessary and it violates human rights. Others feel if someone is in possession of something that can harm someone; they have a right to know about it.
Image of the School
Many parents don’t like the idea of sending their child to a school with a negative reputation for violent behavior. Some feel that schools who invest in a metal detector may send off mixed signals about whether safety is really the issue, or it is the device just being used to improve the school’s image and reputation.