OUR VIEW: Use of metal detectors complicated; task force should work quickly

Published 9:30 am Wednesday, August 17, 2022

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There’s a lively discussion on our Facebook page right now, as parents comment on the Troup County School System’s preliminary discussion on adding metal detectors at middle and high schools in the district.

For those that saw it in Tuesday’s e-edition, we wrote an editorial asking that the school system consider this and all options as ways to keep our children safe after two guns were found on TCSS grounds Friday.

On Tuesday afternoon, Superintendent Brian Shumate told us that TCSS is certainly reviewing the idea of adding metal detectors, but he also wants to give a task force a chance to weigh in before they move forward.

Therefore, TCSS won’t vote on metal detectors at its school board meeting Thursday.

A story on the front page of this edition discusses the task force, as well as the logistical nightmare schools will face if metal detectors are installed.

Metal detectors are certainly a step in the right direction, but the concern of getting thousands of students through metal detectors in a timely manner is valid.

Given those concerns, and setting aside the fact that we all want something done right now, we think giving the task force some time is probably the right decision. Patience makes sense over rushing such an important decision.

Yes, we think metal detectors are certainly something TCSS should strongly consider, but we also realize their implementation is going to cause a lot of new problems. You don’t simply place a metal detector at the front door and all problems are solved. In fact, from what we’ve researched, the decision to actually purchase the metal detectors is probably the easy part.

The logistics of getting students through them and figuring out how to man them are the larger issues.

And yes, those issues can certainly be overcome in the way of safety but having a plan first is always best before making such a costly decision.

We urge the task force to work quickly, but we also believe it’s understandable to let them research metal detectors further before making a fast decision that isn’t well thought out.