After years of attempting to tighten security at DISD, a citizen’s budget committee has recommended that the district consider eliminating metal detectors from the district’s middle and high schools. The DMN reports that the proposal was buried in the unveiling of new Supt. Mike Miles’ big Destination 2020 plan last week.
The citizen’s budget proposal, if eventually enacted by DISD’s school board, would supposedly speed up the movement of students into and out of schools, reduce the manpower required to man detectors (generally two to four staffers or volunteers are required to staff each detector) and save lots of money. Alternative schools (typically filled with students who have caused disturbances at neighborhood schools) would continue to have detectors.
The group suggests polling principals and teachers about the detectors and adds that installing security cameras “may prove to be meaningfully more effective at a lower cost to school budgets and culture.”
The DMN’s story points out that during the past three school years, the TEA reports that there have been at least 21 incidents of guns being found in DISD schools and 24 instances where illegal knives were confiscated (blades longer than 5.5 inches).
It’s not known where the metal detectors were responsible for identifying the weapon in these instances or whether having detectors deters students from attempting to bring weapons to school.
So the point to ponder here is whether the “mental insurance” provided by having a couple of metal detectors at a few of the school’s entry points outweighs the cost of providing the “insurance.”