Tuesday, March 20, 2018

DeKalb County Schools to Initiate Metal Detector Pilot Program in 5 High Schools

At Monday's Board of Education Meeting, DCSD requested approval for a pilot program for metal detectors in 5 high schools.  Gary Brantley, Chief Information Officer, heavily emphasized that this was a pilot program and that the school district understands this will not be the total answer to weapons in school.

There was a good discussion on this among the board members - in my opinion.  While most seemed in favor of the pilot program, there was several questions.  Again, this is a pilot program for DCSD and I'm sure answers/solutions will become apparent as the program takes shape.  

1.  Will/How many extra school based personnel will be needed to supervise the metal detectors and "wand" any students/visitors that set off the detector?
2.  There would only be 4 metal detectors per pilot school.  What is the procedure for other doors not covered by metal detectors?
3.  These high schools have trailers.  What if a student/visitor bypasses the metal detectors on their way to a trailer?

You can view the entire BOE agenda item, at the following link, item #C-7:


  1. Thanks for posting about this. I thought the Board members did a good job of asking questions, and I thought the District didn't have a great response prepared.

    Particularly, Jim McMahan asked about how metal detectors would work, given that high school students now have Chrome books, which are metal and presumably would set off the alarm every time.

    Cross Keys HS will be a very good test case, as they have so many trailers.

    I guess the District has to try something, but I was disappointed that they didn't ever used the words "best practices" or "we've talked to District X, which has metal detectors in place already, and we are following their lessons learned" and so forth.

  2. I think, just my opinion, that the metal detector pilot was something that was brought about as a response to the Majory Stoneman Douglas HS attack plus the MLK Jr HS issue here in DeKalb. The district most likely felt they needed to go ahead and start formulating a deeper security plan for the schools, thus the pilot program. Hopefully as part of the pilot the district will reach out to other districts which employ metal detectors, trailers, etc. With Gary Brantley seemingly in charge of this initiative, I have a high confidence that all issues will be researched and addressed.

    I hate that this issue of metal detectors in our schools has to even be part of a larger security initiative.