In an attempt to fight the rise in threats made against schools and the number of weapons brought onto campuses, The Broward County School Board voted to add hand-held metal detectors to all Broward County Public Schools (BCPS). The policy was passed unanimously on January 11, allowing for an extra measure of security in BCPS.
BCPS students and staff can expect to face random and suggested searches in the coming months. As the detectors find their way to CCHS, they will become a permanent addition to its security team, used to prevent future threats against the school.
“[The metal detectors will] be permanent, because we want to stop all the messy stuff that’s going on,” campus security manager Christopher Roberts said. “We don’t want to have another Stoneman Douglas.”
Though this isn’t the first time that CCHS students and faculty have been met with metal detectors on campus, opinions on their introduction appear to be divided between its students, staff and security team. Some staff feel that this is a simple measure to secure a safer school.
“I’m okay with it, I don’t feel that it’s an invasion of privacy. It’s to be safe,” math teacher and assistant to the girls flag football team John Browning said. “And it’s quick, it’s a wand. It’s not like you’re getting patted down at the gate, that would be awkward.”
Some students mirror the neutrality that the staff feels towards the addition of metal detectors to BCPS campuses. But while everyday objects such as cellphones and even shoelace eyelets are capable of sounding off detectors, others feel that this addition may raise more alarm once in use, than before.
“I think it’s illogical to install metal detectors, considering the amount of jewelry a majority of students wear,” Junior Samantha Sutton said.
This has been a cause for controversy in the past, when metal detector wands were first introduced on campus during football games. Leading some to question their necessity and regulation during after school events.
“I feel like metal detectors are unnecessary when there are other precautions you can take that are less extreme,” sophomore Isabella Tellez said.
This rise in safety measures was seen after a shooting during a football game across from Fort Lauderdale High School on September 30. Causing many BCPS to advance their security measures during sporting events.
“We are a very reactionary society, so [we often think] ‘oh something happened, so let’s do something’,” Browning said.
Though detector checks were seen as mandatory for all attending a CCHS football games from then on, the same will not be required for routinely entering the campus.
“We can’t wand everybody coming in, because it’ll take ten hours … but if we do have someone come in and say that they are suspicious [of an individual] or if [the security team sees] someone suspicious, I don’t have to have probable cause [to search them,] because I’m the campus security manager,” Roberts said. “If I think somebody has something, I can call them in and search them.”
The Hand-held metal detectors are expected at CCHS by March of 2022. Once on campus, Roberts and his security team will overlook the regulation of these detectors.
For now, only time will tell how the addition of hand-held metal detectors will improve campus safety and affect its everyday operations.