Home > Uncategorized > Installation of Metal Detectors Supported Because Kids Are Shooting Each Other Off Campus with Guns… but Guns Aren’t the Problem?

Installation of Metal Detectors Supported Because Kids Are Shooting Each Other Off Campus with Guns… but Guns Aren’t the Problem?

October 17, 2018

I read with a mix of astonishment, bewilderment, and frustration that Duval County FL is going to spend $2.5 million to install walk through metal detectors and provide hand wands in each of its high schools. This decision was characterized as one that appeared to

“…reverse a long-held position held by Duval County Schools’ previous leaders, including former Superintendent Nikolai Vitti, who were reluctant to take that measure in part because of cost and a belief that relationships between students and school staff were better options for unearthing weapons in school.

Based on some news reports, it was unclear who made the decision. But Jacksonville.com reported it was announced by Micheal Edwards, director of the district’s police force… which is unsurprising to me since police are more likely to believe in the power of preventative screening that the value of relationships between students and school staff. The school board chair weighed in as well:

Ten of the 30 Duval County public school students who died last year were victims of gun violence, School Board Chairwoman Paula Wright said last month. From January to mid-September, 21 Jacksonville youths were injured by guns, more than in most Florida cities, she added.

So… because many students who attend schools were injured outside of school the Board, the district police chief, and the newly appointed Superintendent are all in on screening each and every child each and every day at each and every entrance to each and every high school. And anyone who has operated a school would realize that the reported cost $2.5 million for the equipment, which includes better surveillance cameras, is just the beginning. Whoever mans these devices will need to be paid and their use will clearly need to be extended to after school activities, sports events, and plays and band performances… which means more personnel costs.

But wait! Maybe more staff will not need to be added! Why? Because:

School administrators will operate the metal detectors and wands, Edwards said, because Florida law gives more leeway for administrators to search student bags than police would have.

When I read these reports it makes me wonder what kind of individuals will be drawn to assuming administrative positions in the future…. and how those administrators, who spend their mornings and evenings monitoring the front doors will ever be able to find the time to develop the kinds of relationships that provide support children need. I am certain that the former Superintendent, Mr. Vitti, is shaking his head as well….


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