School board to purchase metal detectors for SHS

By: By Amber Hatten-Staley - Staff reporter

LAURINBURG — School officials are moving forward with increased security measures for Scotland High School.

The five members of the Scotland County Schools Board of Education in attendance at Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting — chair Summer Woodside, vice chair Rick Singletary, Wayne Cromartie, Herman Tyson and Dr. Carolyn Banks — agreed that heightened security is necessary and directed Larry Johnson, assistant superintendent of auxiliary services, to order four metal detectors.

Prior to the directive, Scotland High School Principal Brian Edkins presented the board with the logistics of how his staff will make the new security measures work.

Four metal detectors will be placed at the main entrance of the high school, instead of having two in the lobby and two in the cafeteria where bus rides are dropped off.

All students will funnel through the main doors and walk through one of the four detectors before being permitted to enter the building.

“That way everyone is getting scanned the same and we can be consistent,” said Edkins. “We’re also working out of one area so that if something is found we have the SRO’s office, board room and my office that they can go into and still leave a second SRO if anything else is found.”

Each metal detector will cost between $5,000 and $6,000 and will take between three and four weeks to be delivered. The district will also purchase signage stating anyone entering campus is subject to walk through a detector and be searched, along with crowd control barriers and four hand-held metal detector wands.

Edkins said the staff is considering having a fast lane, like at Carowinds, for those students who don’t carry bags. Students will still walk through a metal detector, but since they would just open the case for the Chromebook and bypass the longer lines.

In order to make the security measures work, the high school will have six teachers secure the perimeter of the campus, one security officer at the back gate, two teachers at each metal detector, three security guards, two SROs and administrators.

Two employees will stay with the Shaw students, who won’t be required to go through the metal detectors at Scotland High but will go through the detectors once they reach Shaw Academy.

“We didn’t think it was necessary to run them through, put them on a bus and then run them through a second set of metal detectors,” Edkins said. “They will just be supervised until their bus arrives.”

Additional teachers will be used to supervise the students hanging out in the plaza, cafeteria or media center, since students won’t be permitted to remain in the lobby after they’ve gone through security.

“You don’t want the reality TV show where kids hang out and watch to see who beeps and who doesn’t,” Edkins said.

Visitors and parents will also be required to walk through the metal detectors upon entering the building.

Edkins also informed the board of other safety measures the high school is putting in place for the upcoming school year.

“We will be assigning lockers through homeroom,” he said. “We want to continue to randomly use the drug dogs to search the different areas of the school. We also want to continue the see something, say something campaign.”

The high school is also looking into using the Crimestopper money to reward students that reported something to administration.

The district will also be ordering four new metal detectors for the high school’s athletic events.

Amber Hatten-Staley can be reached at 910-506-3170 or [email protected]

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Students, parents and visitors will use the detectors

By Amber Hatten-Staley

Staff reporter