By Alyssa Daniels
In the past year, there have been multiple school shootings, including the one in Noblesville and Parkland, Florida, so many schools have been taking safety precautions.
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb announced on July 9 a new program where schools are able to get hand held metal detectors. These metal detectors are available to any public, charter and non-public schools who request them. One metal detector will be provided for every 250 students, according to Fox 59 News. Clark Pleasant schools have applied for this program, according to Superintendent Patrick Spray.
The metal detectors will be placed in all CPCSC schools. Spray explained when, how and why they will be used.
“You can use those for those students if there are reasonable suspicion or you can do it in a way that it is not random but if you are going to scan everybody coming in a certain entrance you can use those. We don’t anticipate on using them on a daily basis to wand students as they come in and out of the building…So we have applied for them and we will be getting them within the next couple of weeks but most likely they won’t be distributed and utilized until after training and after policies have been put in place,” Spray said.
WCHS students now have to wear lanyards at all times, and more resources officers are around WCHS. Spray explained all the new changes in the corporation.
“With regard to the ID badges and the why behind that is it’s just to be able to identify students that belong here and don’t belong here because with a school of 1,900 [students] not everyone knows everybody…managing the transition areas by keeping a school resource officer in that area at all times and then changing how the parking structure is outside so that the cars in that area don’t move off campus during the day. Students who leave campus during the day for C9 or Ivy Tech park in the front campus and back again to limiting the number of door access,” Spray said.
Spray explained CPCSC schools are also investing in better camera equipment and all buses now have a new GPS tracker in them.
“We’re also investing in about $750 camera equipment for all of our schools. We have also put GPS on all of our school buses with an emergency button on them so a school bus driver can hit the 911 button and it not only alerts our staff but we know exactly where they are by GPS and also alerts emergency personal,” Spray said.
WCHS senior Grace Brewington explained how she would have to see the metal detectors being implemented before saying anything definitive about their effectiveness.
“I would have to see it [metal detectors] being implemented to say if I recommend it because I don’t know how it’s going to do here but I think I would recommend that every school takes some sort of action in order to keep their students safe if whether that’s metal detectors, drug tests or having the dogs come around now and then during classes. Just stuff like that I think is more useful than not doing anything; there’s never too much you can really do to keep your school safe,” Brewington said.
Athletic Director Ken Sears explained how the police presence seems to be the biggest impact on avoiding school violence.
“Continue our police presence at school and after school events. Police presence has been found to be the best deterrent for school violence,” Sears said.
Spray explained that the schools are looking to do a referendum, to help fund additional safety precautions for our schools.
“We are looking to do a referendum to ask for our constituents to pay more money on their property taxes to help fund other safety initiatives, including having full time school resources officers available in all of our buildings, increasing the monitoring on our campus on the cameras, providing more counselors [such as] crisis counselors and programming for our students and for our families,” Spray said.
The new metal detectors will be in place after staff goes through training.
All of the changes that are being made to the CPCSC schools are for the safety of our students and staff members.