HAZLE TOWNSHIP — A new school year started Thursday morning at Hazleton Area High School, and new metal detectors are now in place at all the building’s entrances.
It wasn’t an airport; it was the main entrance at Hazleton Area. But like an airport, students and faculty members were told to empty their pockets and go through the machine.
In all, five metal detectors are in place at the high school’s three main entrances. 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.
“Schools are merely a reflection of the communities they serve,” said Superintendent Francis Antonelli. “You know as well as I do the number of violent actions, unfortunately, in our communities and, hopefully, this is an attempt to keep the violence out of our schools.”
Some of the girls in the back of the line said they waited almost a half hour to get into school, and despite this being the first day for the new metal detectors, there was some frustration in some of their voices.
“I just don`t like that I have to wait that long,” said Julia Palmieri. “It was pretty cold outside but I just think they need more metal detectors or none at all.”
Ruth Jones has two freshmen boys at the school. She didn’t mind that they had to wait.
“I think it`s a good thing, an ounce of prevention, a pound of cure. Unfortunately the world we live in, you`re going to see this across the nation but the most important thing is to protect our children, the teachers and the staff.”
Hazleton Area school officials said the delays should be ironed out as the students get used to the new metal detectors, which are also in place at the career center, the ninth grade center, and the administration building.