Is It Reasonable to Use Metal Detectors in Schools?

1134370432_7680For the past years, people have debated the issue of having metal detectors in schools. Some are absolutely okay with the idea while others think it is absolutely stupid to put security systems inside school premises. So, the question still remains: Should schools use these metal detectors  to protect their students?

I don’t know in other countries, but not every school in the US use day-to-day metal detectors. They’re usually reserved for large inner-city school districts that have a history of violence and weapons offenses.

There are instances, however, that even though a schools lack statistical records of violence, they are mandated to submit their students to security metal detectors. It’s like what happened in Bushwick Community High School. Since their school shares the building with a junior high school with a dark history of violence, students were left with no choice but to walk through a security metal detector.


But Metal Detectors Inject Terror in Students

Some of you might argue: “It’s a school, not a freakin’ prison.” Or, “Even if the best security metal detectors are set up, criminal minds will still find a way to stash weapons and cause chaos.”

True. But why take chances, right? Violence in school is a reality. I’m sure you all have heard those disturbing news about high-profile violence incidents, like what happened in the Atlanta middle school shooting. Though the gun was pulled away from the wannabe killer, the aftermath still resulted to injuries.

And there are much, much worse cases than the February 2013 Atlanta shooting. Scary, I know.

That’s why many people don’t get the logic why others detest metal detectors in school when they’re practically part of our everyday lives. You see them in courthouses, offices, malls, airports, government buildings, and prisons. Our government uses these things for their anti-terrorism campaign to locate mines and weapons.

Besides, security checks in schools are not something new. They have been implemented since the 80s. They are considered as an important step to improving safety inside the campus.


Are Metal Detectors Really Safe and Effective?

There are no concrete statistical data to answer that question. There have been reports, however, that tried to determine the impact of security inspections in school on safety and violence reduction, just like the one made by the Georgia State University, which was published online this year.

The study compared two districts: Miami-Dade County School District and Broward County. The former had a mandatory security check during the 1998-99 school years while the latter didn’t implement such measure.

By using a “difference-in-difference estimation” strategy, it was determined that Miami-Dade’s mandatory security inspections were effective in curbing violence in school. The number of students who bring weapons and sell drugs inside the campus was reduced. There were also fewer student reports about missing school because of safety considerations after the security inspection implementation. (1)

What do you think? Are you for or against security metal detectors in schools? Please do share your comments or reactions with us. We’d love to hear them!