Metal Detectors Added to Hazleton Area High School

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HAZLETON -- There will be something new when students return to the Hazleton Area High School on Thursday: metal detectors at all the entrances.

School officials say a changing community led to the increase in safety and metal detectors are now in place at four of the buildings on the campus. 

When Hazleton Area student Monica Abdelmalek walks through the front doors of the high school on Thursday, she`ll pass through one of these metal detectors.  They`re new this year, something Monica and her mom says will help keep the kids safe.

"I feel like it`s going to make a difference. It`s going to make it more safe but I feel like it`s not going to stop everything that happens here," said Monica Abdelmalek.

"Yeah, that`s good that I feel it`s very good to have more. Everyone protected here you know what I mean," said Monica's mom Neama.

School officials say metal detectors will be at three main entrances at the school. One for the boys, one for the girls, and a third for students carrying large bags and musical instruments.

Superintendent Dr. Francis Antonelli wouldn`t say if the metal detectors are a direct result of past investigations involving weapons or ammunition inside the school.

But he did tell Newswatch 16 "in our communities we have violent acts occurring and any school is a reflection of the community it serves."

All three of Debbie Lutzick`s children went to Hazleton Area High School.

"I think it`s awesome. I know they are protected. This is a big school. I know they will be safe and they come from Weatherly which is a small school. This one is bigger and I heard there`s a lot of fighting going on here too," said Lutzick.

Besides the high school, metal detectors are also now in place at the ninth grade center, the career center, and the administration building.