The Metal Detectors

Anali Gonzalez, Writer

Metal Detector  archway  photo taken by Mr. Matt Dugan

The new semester has brought new rules and along with those rules, there have been random checks with metal detectors. Over winter break the Morton West parents and guardians received an email stating there would be changes made in the upcoming semester, one of the changes would be the metal detection system. The metal detection system can be placed anywhere since they are portable, but as of now they have been placed in the auditorium entrance and the freshman entrance.  There were a lot of incidents during the first semester that had people worried about the safety of the student and staff at the school. The metal detection system is a way for everyone to feel safe, as anyone should not be afraid to come to school.

The metal detection system is really accurate in creating a safe environment for the students and staff. Mr. Matt Dugan Assistant Principal of the Freshman Academy said, “The weapon detection system is extremely accurate. The reason we use the system is because of its ability to identify potentially dangerous weapons that pose a safety threat to students and staff in the building.” All students who attend school have gone through the metal detectors including zero-hour students.  The freshman students and the upperclassman students have different entrances, the upperclassman goes through the auditorium door and the Freshman students go in through the side of the Freshman Academy.  

The school is using a system called Open Gate, which is a weapon detection system, not a traditional metal detector. The administrators will select random days for when the weapon detection system will be used, and any of the school entrances can have the metal detector system ready for use. When the metal detection systems are being used,  there will be two lines that students can pass through the archway that will have metal detectors screening for weapons and any other things that can harm students or staff.

There will be tables outside for students to remove their laptops while they wait in line, and staff members will be there to remind students what to remove from their backpacks, before going through the metal detectors. If the metal detectors go off after a student passes through,  there is a table off to the side with staff members that will search their bags for any weapons or objects that are not allowed on school grounds. This process will continue and adjustments will be made. Each time the students go through the metal detectors it is a chance for the administration to make adjustments for the process to go smoother. The administration will reconvene at the end of the semester to reassess the system that is in place, to review and come up with a new plan so the process can go smoother for the next school year.

Students should be aware that if they are late to school, consequences are in place, Mr. Dugan said, “Students who are late to class after going through the weapons detection system will receive the same tardy consequences as usual. We ask that students arrive to school with enough time to not be late in the chance we are utilizing the system on that day. “ Students should always arrive early to school, there is extra help time, where students can get help on certain classes from their teachers. So arriving early does have its perks, and if you are unable to arrive early, then you will face the consequences or tardiness.

The metal detection system has been doing its job so far, Mr. Jonathan Duarte head of security said, “To this point, they have been accurate. I can not speak in percentage but through all testing, it has been accurate.” The metal detection system is another layer of security and is implemented for the safety of the students and staff, they are not in place to make the school day harder, but to make the school environment safer for everyone in the school.