JCPS board discusses pros and cons of having handheld metal detectors at every school
JCPS started off Tuesday's weekly meeting saying that a lot of what they do security-wise is secret for a reason, but they are looking into ways to improve it.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A top official with Jefferson County Public Schools started off Tuesday's meeting by saying that a lot of what the district does security-wise is secret for a reason, but they are looking into ways to improve it.
Superintendent Donna Hargens and the school board listened to Chief Operations Officer Michael Raisor describe ways in which the district can ensure school safety.
Because the district is so large, it has a benefit of being able to talk with FEMA and Homeland Security on a daily basis. All staff will be trained over the next six months with what is known as the ALICE Protocol, where teachers will learn different ways to protect students with distraction, instead of hiding and waiting for help.
"Those leave the typical 'just lock down' when there is an emergency in the building, and also include trying to potentially disrupt whoever is in the building as well as escaping, if that is a possibility," Raiser said.
The board also discussed the possible addition of hand-held metal detectors to be used on anyone entering the building ... including students.
All schools purchased them 10 years ago, but newer updated ones would be used.
Some school board members worry the process would be too slow in getting students from the larger school inside, causing more of a problem than a solution.
"Knowing teenagers, what that would look like ... Just some of the supervision issues that in itself could cause, as well as potential confrontations as 'it's cold outside, let me through,' and anything that could happen like that," Raiser said.
"If the metal detector handheld is only as good as the person operating it, do we have enough trained people in our schools?" board member Stephanie Horne asked. "Are our schools safe?"
Profiling is also a concern with board members, but Raiser said random selection searches and wanding wouldn't make it an issue.
"It might be all the classrooms, and a classroom is randomly selected, or a bus is randomly selected, but it would be done with a computer algorithm to ensure there would not be any profiling," Hargens said.
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