HC metal detectors postponed until next school year

by Nina Rennard

As part of Superintendent Manny Caulk’s ten point safety plan, metal detectors were expected to be present at all six high schools. While HC was the last to receive metal detectors, the installation of them has been postponed.

“We’re not going to do metal detectors until next fall,” HC Principal Paul Little said. “It would be best to wait for [the necessary things] to be placed, so we can implement metal detectors effectively.”

HC is able to learn from schools with metal detectors already in place, specifically Lafayette. However, without additional shelters and storage units, the metal detectors could cause more problems than expected.

“I had a discussion with the ISAKSS (It’s About Kids Support Services) officials about things that were supposed to be included at HC,” Little said. “A secure vestibule out front, which has not been built, a canopy-type shelter for the students waiting out back to come in through the large connector, and a storage shed to put the metal detectors in.”

Little believes that waiting until HC acquires the needed construction projects is important to running the mornings efficiently.

“I do think metal detectors will bring about another layer of security,” Little said, “but we want to be ready so kids don’t have to stand out in the rain, snow, and cold, waiting to get into the building.”

HC has already implemented some of the parts of the ten point safety plan.

“We need to tighten up on [using] our ID badges,” Little said. “The alarms on doors aren’t as disruptive as some people thought it would be. I think it’s keeping everyone inside the building safe.”

Mental health has also been a point of interest to help those in need and to hopefully prevent any other school shootings.

“We got an added mental health specialist,” Little said. “She’s been doing some good work when working with students, and that’s been going really well.”

Communication plays an important role on when administrators hear about incidents or threats from students.

“The best part of any safety plan is to have the trust of your students,” Little said. “I have confiscated two guns in my time as an administrator. Both times I was told by another student.”

While the school awaits changes to accomodate metal detectors, Little hopes for additional help in the running of the school.

“I still wish the district would allocate funds for an associate principal based on enrollment,” Little said. “It’s almost 99.9 percent of the time an associate principal handling safety issues.”

While all the changes are helpful in securing the building, students as individuals still hold a powerful role.

“As far as improvement on security measures, the only thing that I would recommend for anyone that comes into our building is to just be aware of your surroundings,” HC Administrator Chad Carpenter said.