Our last blog post talked about the potential effectiveness of metal detectors in school. This blog post will relate to some arguments for and against using metal detectors that your school district should consider before implementing a metal detector system in your school.
“Do everything we can to protect students” vs. “Not creating a prison-like atmosphere”
This is a big component of the argument between getting a metal detector in a school. One side will argue that the school district must do everything they can to ensure student’s safety. On the other hand, they don’t want to make it seems like the children are going to a prison. School is supposed to be considered a safe zone; if students walk in and see metal detectors, does that really give a sense of security?
There are many considerations to have when installing a metal detector as a source of security:
- Financial – The initial cost of a metal detector is something to be budgeted for. It is an investment, an investment of security. But there are additional financial concerns such as: staffing of the metal detectors, the ongoing costs of maintaining the metal detectors, and future costs of replacing metal detectors if one needs complete replacement.
- Overall security – A metal detector only protects an entrance that it is staffed at. This doesn’t take into consideration a back door that a student may prop open to let someone in or out of. What about after hours? Many schools have extra curricular activities such as sports, band, clubs, etc. What about safety on school buses? Many students travel on school buses to arrive at school. It would be almost impossible to check every student before they get on the bus for any kind of weapon. Some acts of violence against student occur on school grounds, outside of the building. A metal detector would not be able to prevent that.
- Time – If a school district needs to screen hundreds or even thousands of children as they enter the building, how long will that take? We all know how it feels to wait in a long line at the airport to go through security, but most of us don’t go through airport security five times a week (at minimum). This can effect school schedules, so it could be a detriment to the overall purpose of school: which is education.
Other factors should be considered such as human error, proper training of metal detector operations, integrity checks of operators, and proper amount of staffing throughout the day/week.
Getting a metal detector system in your school district is not an easy decision and we can discuss metal detectors, as well as other security systems that can be put into place at your school district. Give OSSI a call today at (888) 533-7508 or (262) 522-1870 to discuss how our products can help protect your school or business.