School Board approves use of metal detecting wands in schools



Board Member Lori Alhadeff at the Broward School Board Meeting Jan. 11 discussing the use of metal detecting wands in schools.

On January 11, the Broward County School Board voted unanimously to pass the use of metal detector wands in schools for random screenings of students, staff, and any other visitors on school grounds. It’s an emergency policy being passed as a security measure against the increasing threats being made against Broward schools, which led to an increase in police presence last month. 

Of those present at the board meeting was Lori Alhadeff, a member of the council and parent of Alyssa Alhadeff, one of the victims of the shooting at Stoneman Douglas. She was supportive of the policy, however, was concerned with the repercussions that would be caused by refusing the use of metal detectors and what disciplinary action can be made against any students and staff. 

The board outlined that for any employees or students suspected of possessing any weapons, security can check using these metal detectors. If they refuse, the school can dismiss the employee or student and temporarily ban them from school grounds. However, the policy does not specify whether students or staff can face expulsion or firing if they refuse to be checked.

Within the policy, it details that anyone selected to be searched must remove all belongings beforehand and hand them over to a screening team member, or one of the security personnel. Students will be selected at random, which head of security Jermaine Hollis said will be done by randomly selecting any classrooms where students or staff must be searched. 

“All the details aren’t fully out there, “ Hollis said, “But I hope that it adds to making everyone feel safe at school.”