Wisconsin District to Implement Portable Metal Detectors by End of Year

Wisconsin District to Implement Portable Metal Detectors by End of Year

RUSD will begin installing signs at each of its high school buildings this week, alerting entrants that they could be subject to security scans. Officials then plan to communicate with students and families about the use of metal detectors and the district’s policy before they go into use.

Officials at Racine Unified School District are hoping to perform at least one portable metal detector scan of students entering each of its high school campuses before the end of the school year.

Since the end of the previous school year, RUSD has purchased eight portable detectors and some handheld scanners for a total of about $32,000. More than $23,000 of the cost was paid for from the $1.6 million the district received in state school safety grants.

RUSD will begin installing signs at each of its high school buildings this week, alerting entrants that they could be subject to security scans. Officials then plan to communicate with students and families about the use of metal detectors and the district’s policy before they go into use.

“Our goal is to run a scan at all of our high schools prior to the end of the school year,” said Shannon Gordon, the district’s chief operating officer.

The School Board approved a policy about the metal detectors and their use during a meeting Feb. 4.

According to the newly approved regulations about metal detectors, the scanners can be used “to conduct random or reasonable-suspicion screening in its facilities and at school sponsored events.”

The district plans to move the portable detectors from campus to campus to allow staff to run scans randomly.

Administrators and school staff are currently being trained on how to use the metal detectors and how to follow the board policy.

“We want to make sure that we’re as efficient as possible through this process so that we’re not delaying anyone and preventing them from getting to class on time,” Gordon said.

The district will likely make decisions on when to send information about the new equipment and policies to parents and when to begin scans during a district Safety Committee meeting this week, district spokeswoman Stacy Tapp told the Journal Times.

The plan is to begin using the metal detectors mainly at the high schools this year and potentially try them out at some middle school campuses.

“I think it’s a tool in our safety kit that we want to make sure we have available whenever we need it and wherever that might be,” Gordon said.

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Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.

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