New Metal Detectors Now in Use at Southeast

Amyah Barnes, Reporter

After spring break, the new OpenGate scanners were finally installed at Southeast, located at the main entrance and bus entrance. The scanners were approved by a unanimous vote of the board of education in October to keep weapons out of the school.

“Ultimately, our biggest focus and probably district-wise focus is that students should be able to learn and have their focus be on learning not being worried about what’s inside the building,” assistant principal Patrick Jackson said.

The scanners were specifically picked because they are designed to detect specific objects and keep the lines from getting backed up. “They specifically pick these scanners because they allow a quick detection of a certain shape and certain material,” Jackson said.

Jackson says the first couple of days with the new scanners were a success. Prior to their installation, the administration had advertised how to use them properly to keep the lines moving to get everyone into the building safely and quickly.

“We were the second to last school and we actually have the most students who go through the scanners and had the fastest first day of starting with our scanners,” Jackson said. “Students did a great job of listening and being prepared when we held our assemblies to prep students and gave them instructions.”
Although most students we spoke to feel like the scanners do their job, others feel like students still have ways to conceal and carry banned items into the school.

“There have been incidents where someone will go through and it will blink red, but they’ll just wave away and let them go through. So when you have faults like that, then it really makes me question if the scanner is actually being utilized to their full purpose,” Andrew Le (12) said.

“I still think there’s an ability to conceal and carry weapons into the building even with the scanners. When you bring your binders and your laptops to the scanner and you lift them above your head, you can still store stuff in your binder,” Korban Lea (10) said.

The administration says they have noticed some items that have been setting the scanners off along with placement issues. Southeast still has a lot to learn about the scanners and the administration is adjusting and making changes to do so.

“Once we locate the perfect spots where they don’t get those false detections,” Jackson said, “that’s going to also help us move the lines really smoothly and get students in the building … without having any issues at all.”