Broward County Public Schools to Add Metal Detectors at all Schools


Lucas M Oliveira, Reporter

Four years ago, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, a tragic event took place, in which 17 lives were sadly lost that day. Due to this and a record number of gun violence incidents and threats through social media, Broward County Public Schools is responding by adding metal detectors to all of its campuses. 

On December 17, 2021, Broward faced down the threat of a gun on campus of South Plantation High. That same day, a 16-year old student was found with a gun and arrested. Detectors had already been used for school athletic events, but after the incident took place, the Broward County School Board discussed adding metal detectors to all schools. 

“The fact we’re doing metal detection, hands on metal detection, now in 2022 that’s great. Personally, I feel that we should’ve implemented it after the tragedy.¨ said Broward County School Board Member Lori Alhadeff. 

Metal detector use has been a controversial topic with there being pros and cons to their implementation. But what does West Boca High think of Broward’s decisions? We posted a google form asking the students of WBHS what they thought about Broward’s decision. Of the 123 students who responded, 63% of students thought the metal detectors were a good idea, while 37% disagreed, thinking it was a bad idea. 

Here’s what some students thought of the decision. 

¨It could effectively be used for large events and to help protect people, but it wouldn’t be practical for everyday use for students.¨

¨I think it’s a good idea because it’ll make it easier for schools to spot people with guns. Hence, making it safer.¨

¨I firmly believe that metal detectors violate the 4th amendment right of being free from unreasonable searches and seizures.¨

¨Aesthetically speaking, it would look as if we are in a prison or something equivalent. But, if metal detectors is something that will keep everybody on campus safer and more aware, then it should be implemented into our schools.¨

¨It’s a costly idea in respect to money and time. I think this way because it wouldn’t be economical to take millions from government spending, putting the country further into debt than it already is, which I find fascinating that not many people are looking economically at the actions of the government with their support.¨

We also interviewed police officer Rick Shifley, and asked him what he thought of the new decision made by Broward, and here’s what he thought:

L.O: What do you think of Broward adding metal detectors to their county?

Shifley: I think it’s a good idea. Logistically, I don’t know how that would work. Here at West Boca High School, we have 2,000 students, and just in the mornings, it takes parents a good 40-45 minutes to get their kids into the school, so logistically, I don’t know how that would work, and that’s not even counting buses.

LO: Do you think that adding metal detectors to the school would benefit the students, or be a detriment?

Shifley: I think it would benefit everybody, it would just cut into their learning time, if the district would decide to do that, we would need much more resources than we have. 

L.O : What do you think are the pros and cons of adding such devices?

Shifley: Well, the cons are that it’s obviously time-consuming. It’s also not 100%, since the wand needs to be 4 inches from the body, and without proper training, it won’t work. An obvious con is it will be costly. A pro is that everyone will be safer. 

L.O: Do you think we should add metal detectors?

Shifley: I don’t think it’s logistically possible, since it would take everyone two hours to get into the school. 

L.O : Do you have any other comments? 

Shifley: I think it’s a good idea, I just don’t see how it would work in a school setting.

At least one metal detector wand will be added at all schools in the county. But what do you think, dear reader? Tell us your thoughts in  the comments below!