Updated: Hand-Held Metal Detecting Wands Could Be Coming To Township Schools

Update: The Board approved the policy and regulation ayt its September 22 meeting.

A policy that would provide for the use of hand-held metal detecting wands on township school properties was introduced at the August 25 Board of Education meeting.

The policy is set to receive a final vote at the Board’s September meeting.

There was no discussion at the proposed policy’s introduction.

Under the policy, a school principal or their designee would be allowed to “use hand-held metal detectors at any school district activity and in the school district’s buildings or on ‘school grounds’. These metal detectors may be used for entrance into a school building, on ‘school grounds,’ … or at any school district activity where the Superintendent or his/her designee believes a security threat may be present.”

“Persons entering a school building or attending a school activity may be subject to daily, regular, or random screening with a hand-held metal detector,” the policy reads. “The Superintendent or designee shall determine if the screening shall be daily, regular, or random upon evaluating the security threat posed by the situation at the time.”

“Additionally, if school district principal/designee has a reasonable suspicion that an individual student is in possession of a weapon and that a search of that individual student is authorized pursuant to Policy 5770 Student Right of Privacy and applicable law, school district principal/designee are permitted to utilize a handheld metal detector to facilitate the search of that individual student,” the policy reads.

According to the policy, screenings with the hand-held wands can take place “before: entering a school building; gaining access to school grounds … being admitted to a school activity; boarding or unloading a school bus; and/or before gaining access to any other location and/or activity sponsored by this school district.”

Anyone refusing to submit to the search can be denied admittance to the school or event, according to the policy.

All staff who use the metal detectors will be trained, and extra training will be given in areas where a security breach occurred, the policy states.

If someone is found to have a weapon, township police will be called immediately, the policy states.

Finally, the policy adds a notation in all handbooks describing the hand-held metal detecting wands’ use.

Schools Superintendent John Ravally said in a statement that the policy will “allow the district to implement an additional layer of protection when circumstances warrant.”

“This policy and regulation will give our school administrators the ability to utilize these hand held devices to address a specific situation and further protect our school community at large events,” Ravally said in the statement.

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