Indiana District Adds Metal Detectors to Campuses

Indiana District Adds Metal Detectors to Campuses

Gov. Eric Holcomb offered free metal detectors to any district in the state last summer. New Albany Floyd County Schools accepted the offer and received the new equipment last month.

Every public school in New Albany, Ind., now has metal detectors, one metal detector wand per 250 students.

Gov. Eric Holcomb offered free metal detectors to any district in the state last summer. New Albany Floyd County Schools accepted the offer and received the new equipment last month.

"We don't want to feel like a prison," NAFCS Superintendent Dr. Brad Snyder told WDRB. "We don't want to become militaristic, but we want people to know that we're serious about school safety."

According to Snyder, schools haven’t yet used the wands but will likely start using them sometime this semester.

"We're anxious to see what happens," Snyder said.

Snyder said one of the challenges with the wands is handling the variety of opinions about their use.

"I get email from citizens who really, really want us using this instrument on their children and on their grandchildren. They're for us wanding students," Snyder said. "At the same time, I have a number of emails from people who are concerned about the over-policing of the schools and due process and invasion of privacy."

All 60 school administrators were trained on using the wands by local law enforcement. Those administrators are able to use them at their discretion, and school policy allows them to search students for reasonable suspicion or at random.

"Like a lottery type of thing," Snyder said. "Or every sixth student who gets off the bus or every tenth student who walks through the door."

Snyder said it’s too early to tell whether the wands truly make schools more secure.

"It's better to have the tool than not have the tool, but until the tool proves itself across time, I really can't answer that question," he said.

He said the best way parents and students can help keep schools safe is to report anything suspicious to police and administrators.

About the Author

Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.

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    March/April 2019

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