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Published on April 24, 2024
Broward County High Schools to Install sWalk-Through Metal Detector Amid Security ConcernsSource: Facebook/Broward County Public Schools

In a decisive move by Broward County Public Schools, all high schools are set to receive walk-through metal detectors by next fall. The district is escalating its security protocols in an effort to shield students from the rising specter of gun violence that has haunted educational institutions across the nation. According to a report by NBC Miami, these measures expand upon current strategies that include hand-held devices and random searches.

Superintendent Dr. Howard Hepburn, in a school board workshop meeting, asserted the essential nature of this initiative: "It provides a level of assurance to ensure that weapons are not getting on that campus." Concerns had been raised about the feasibility of screening thousands of students daily without causing delays. Hepburn, however, drew attention to nearby districts as examples, noting, “It takes a lot of planning, luckily we have some school district that have already started this we can use them as a bellwether to actually go learn from them.” as reported by NBC Miami.

Board members, including those with intimate personal connections to the horrific Parkland school shooting, echoed the urgency of the issue. Dr. Allen Zeman articulated the need for a uniform approach across all schools, as shared by NBC Miami: "The community will feel different if all high schools have this system, as opposed to having it sort out, why did yours and not yours and yours and all that, that’s not a healthy feeling..."

The sentiment was reiterated by board member Lori Alhadeff, who tragically lost her daughter in the Parkland massacre. In a stark reminder of what's at stake, she remarked, "If one gun gets in there and we have another school shooting, that will be devastating and detrimental and if this can potentially save a life, I want to do all of our high schools all at one time so every student in that high school is protected and this is an additional layer of protection that we can implement into our schools." according to a report by NBC Miami. Such personal testimonies underscore the urgency behind the decision to fast-track the implementation of metal detectors in all thirty-one high schools, as opposed to a staggered approach initially considered.

The district's chief of safety and security, Jaime Alberti, announced that pilot programs would begin this summer at Flanagan and Taravella high schools, laying the groundwork for a wider rollout. The commitment to student safety comes with a price tag: the superintendent revealed the cost for the installation of the systems at $1.3 million. However, he assured that the necessary funds could be redirected from the district's capital budget. The news of the comprehensive installation was echoed by a brief statement posted by the Miami Herald on their X account.



Miami-Community & Society