Should We Put Metal Detectors in Schools? Part 1

This is the first part of a "point, counter-point" on the issue of metal detectors in schools. Read Part 2 here.

Jonesboro, Arkansas –5 deaths. Springfield, Oregon –4 deaths. Littleton, Colorado –15 deaths. Red Lake, Minnesota –10 deaths. Lancaster County, Pennsylvania –6 deaths. Blacksburg, Virginia –33 deaths. Newtown, Connecticut –28 deaths. Parkland, Florida –17 deaths

We can debate and disagree about gun control, but one thing we can agree on is that we need to find a better way to protect our schools. One option would be to protect the entrances to school buildings by implementing metal detectors with professional guards and proper surveillance.

Before you protest that this is an infringement on your rights, or that it will interfere with your pursuit of an education, ask yourself this: Does going through the same metal detectors and surveillance at airports interferes with your vacations? Metal detectors are necessary at airports, and sadly, they are now necessary at schools. According to the National School Safety and Security Services, metal detectors in schools are necessary, especially in high-risk school districts with a history of gun-related violence. Metal detectors significantly reduce the risk of any metallic weapon–knife, gun, or bomb—entering a building. If metal detectors are implemented in high-risk targets such as airports, why don’t we apply this same additional layer of protection to our campuses, be it grade school, high school, or college?

Students of all ages need feel safe in school. Sadly, we no longer live in a world of open doors. Installing metal detectors will not solve all of society’s ills. It will not decrease mental illness, opioid addiction, or the decline of human ethics. It will also cost money to install these metal detectors and, it will take time to pass through security each day.   

While the optics of passing through metal detectors in school buildings is distasteful, the idea of another school shooting –of wasted innocent lives and devastated parents–is much worse. These recent school shootings justify our taking immediate action. It’s time to minimize the chance of further school tragedies from occurring ever again in our country.