New policy permits metal detectors

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New policy permits metal detectors

Our school currently has five of these metal detectors.

Our school currently has five of these metal detectors.

Skylar Clark

Our school currently has five of these metal detectors.

Skylar Clark

Skylar Clark

Our school currently has five of these metal detectors.

Skylar Clark, Editor-in-Chief

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“Every building in the school town district has a metal detector. The elementary, I think, has one; the middle school, I think, has two; we have five. It is all predicated by the size of the building,” said Principal Dr. Patrick Weil.

On March 22, students received a Google Classroom announcement informing them that the Search and Service Policy had been revised; metal detectors will now be a part of all searches conducted by school personnel.

Weil said, “The metal detectors actually came from a grant from the governor’s office. They were made available for free to virtually every school and school district in the state of Indiana.”

“I think it’s a violation of your privacy because they aren’t allowed to search your stuff without a reason to,” said senior Isabel Knipe.

Unlike the schoolwide drug searches, the metal detector searches will not be random.

“It has be handled correctly. There (are) all kind of policy implications, things that have to happen for a search to be conducted. It’s not something that’s done lightly, either (like) we so arbitrarily decide ‘Oh, we are going to search 5 or 20 students today.’ There has to be not probable cause, but reasonable suspicion; it has to be done in a non-discriminatory way,” said Weil.   

A student would only be searched if there was suspicion that they have something they were not supposed to have.

Assistant Principal Andrew Locke said, “The policy reads that it’s for what would be considered dangerous metal objects; so if something is dangerous that is made of metal, (it) could be a weapon, could be a smoking device, could be anything that’s considered dangerous to your health. That is something we would be able to identify with the wand.”

“I understand that they are doing it for the security, but look how many people wear metal. There is metal on belts; there is metal on the coats, on pins, on keys. Because every time (you get searched), you either have to have it off (of) you or behind you or just not bring it,” said senior Valerie Brunt. “It’s good that they are doing the security checks making sure we are safe, but honestly, it is going to be more of a hassle.”

The searches will be conducted by a trained person of the same gender. For girls, it will be one of the female guidance counselors conducting the search and for the boys, it will be someone from administration.

“It’s a nice little tool that’s non-invasive. It’s not like we have to do pat downs or things like that. It’s kind of an easier and more efficient way to make sure everyone is doing what they need to do,” said Locke.

Some students were not thrilled about the idea of metal detectors being used during searches.

Senior Sierra Laviolette said, “They are just making this school seem more and more like a prison. We got the ugly metal benches, the black metal doors, and the locked bathrooms. They are restricting rights and being more harsh towards students. This place just looks so bleak now.”