COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Starting next week, metal detector screenings will be taking place at random Columbus City Schools.
According to a release from CCS, when a school building is randomly selected, all students at that school will undergo a metal detector screening.
The district emphasized the screenings will not be conducted by law enforcement and listed three reasons behind the screenings:
- Detect weapon possession
- Deter the act of bringing weapons onto school campuses
- Reduce the potential for violent incidents
If a student is found to be in possession of an item that is a violation of district or school policy, the item may be confiscated, and the student could be subject to disciplinary action.
“Whenever possible, if contraband is observed during a screening, then searches will be
conducted in locations that do not expose students or other persons being searched to the
view of the general student body population, particularly to the view of those who are not
subjected to search,” the release reads.
Any student who refuses to the screening, or a search when contraband is observed, could face disciplinary action.
Also, any person at the building who refuses a search will be escorted off campus.
The move comes just a week after a student was stabbed at Northland High School, according to the Columbus Division of Police. Since the beginning of 2022, there have been at least four occasions in which students were found with guns at CCS high schools, based on police reports and NBC4 reporting.
“Very few are choosing drastic measures to solve their problems, and it doesn’t just stay on the streets,” said Regina Fuentes, a teacher at Eastmoor Academy High School and spokesperson for the Columbus Education Association. “As it comes into the schools and we have to acknowledge it’s a problem and we have to address it somehow. This may not be the best way to address it but at least it’s a step in the right direction.”
“It’s a reality, it’s a real thing that’s happening and everyone that’s involved is concerned, rightfully so,” Fuentes said.
A district spokesperson said the metal detector wands have been used at sporting events since the fall.
Students said seeing them at school will probably take some getting used to.
“I feel like it will make school safer, but I feel like kids will still do it outside of school anyway,” Mykekila Dean, a freshman CCS student, said.
Mike Dean, Mykekila’s father, said the move by the district will likely keep more weapons out of schools but also said it’s sad it has gotten to this point.
“Over the past year we’ve probably heard several different threats and we get the alerts, and as a parent, that’s scary,” he said.
“It’s sad that we’ve got to come to this for sure. It shouldn’t be like this. Shouldn’t be like this, but it is what it is.”