Lawrence Township introduced new metal detectors that will be used in all their secondary schools daily. These will add an extra layer of safety and deterrent for students, faculty and parents of students in Lawrence Township middle and high schools.
Lawrence Township Schools Director of Security Jim Parish explained how the new weapons detection systems work and how students and staff have been adjusting to them.
These detectors are specialized to pick up metals found in guns and sharp objects, like hunting knives, as opposed to the metal detectors that were used previously, which went off for any metals, like keys and cell phones.
The detectors are used every day for all the entrances students and staff use at Lawrence Township middle and high schools.
“We have expanded to try and make our community, our schools, and our students and staff safer,” Parish said regarding the change to these detectors.
Parish added that the reason for the change is to adjust to the world we live in, where school shootings have become more common. Less than two months into the new year, there have already been multiple school shootings in the country. With these new detectors, administrators hope none of those shootings will take place at Lawrence Township middle or high school.
The detectors also add a level of comfort to students throughout their day.
“I think that it would just be an extra layer of comfort. They, students, don’t need to be thinking about that kind of stuff,” said Lawrence Township Director of Communications Dana Altemeyer.
Since these were installed about two weeks ago, Parish said the system has continuously become smoother and has not been taking away from class times.
All students at the beginning of the day simply walk through the detectors, and if one goes off, staff and officers are posted at every unit. The student is taken over to a table to the side of the detectors to check what set it off.
Both staff and students said the process is not alarming to see.
Before, the township used random detections of students that could get through around 300 to 350 a day, according to Parish. Within the first few days of implementing the new detectors, they screened 2,400 students in 30 minutes. This process has gotten even faster since then, Parish says.
“We’re going to have a safe school and safe events. Parents have commented they feel safe with their kids coming, and they’re not worried about the events we host anymore, so I think this has been a positive for our schools and our community,” Parish said.
Contact Racial Justice Reporter Garrett Simms at 317-762-7847