The debate of whether or not metal detectors should be used in school has raged on for years. The pros and cons have long been argued, with opponents reasoning that they are a costly, sometimes knee-jerk reaction and often draw resistance from the community. Common questions are: How will students, teachers and parents react? And, should places of learning resemble a high security facility? Proponents, on the other hand, contend that metal detectors are effective in keeping firearms out of the schools almost entirely and reducing the number of knives and other weapons in a school building.
As is typical with just about every decision school administrators need to make when it comes to securing their school, there’s much to consider. Not the least of which are budget constraints. But, it would seem that the increasing incidence of school violence has caused more schools to find room in those budgets; the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports that there has been an increase in the percentage of schools now using metal detectors as a deterrent.
Once the decision to invest in metal detectors has been made, the next question to consider is which type(s) of detectors would best serve the particular needs of the school. There are a few options to choose from, the most common being a walk-through detector and a portable, hand-held detector.
Stationary, walk-through metal detectors are typically used at a school’s main entrance. In this case, all other entrances should be closed off, making the main entrance the only way in and out of the building. Security policies usually dictate that everyone who enters the building pass through the metal detector. While some argue this rigorous security measure can have a negative psychological impact on students, particularly younger ones, others argue that they succeed in deterring kids from bringing weapons into school and actually provide students – and parents – with that added peace of mind.
Hand-held, portable metal detectors are another viable option for schools and are usually used when there’s a reasonable suspicion someone is carrying a weapon. Administrative searches are also sometimes performed, which are at random and don’t single out any specific group. Most policies dictate that the metal detector can’t touch a student’s body, and the person conducting the search must be the same sex as the student.
ZKTeco offers several metal detectors ideally suited to school safety and security:
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