SHAMOKIN — The Shamokin Area school district is beefing up security. The board voted unanimously to install metal detectors in all three of the district’s schools.
“We’re going to put two in the high school for now. One in the elementary school, and then we have an annex building that holds K-4th,” Board President Brian Persing said.
Shamokin Area School Board members recently took a trip to the Hazleton Area school district, where metal detectors have been in place since August.
Board President Brian Persing says Shamokin will model its new security system after Hazleton’s. The metal detectors cost $16,400. That money will come from the district’s capital reserve fund.
In addition to the metal detectors, the Shamokin Area school district will also implement the School Gate Guardian system. That means all visitors to the schools will have to swipe their driver’s licenses as soon as they get inside the building.
“He swipes it through a machine, just like a credit card machine. So let’s say I have outstanding warrants or I’m on Megan’s Law. That will come up on the screen,” Persing said.
“I think it’s a good thing. Make sure everyone is safe and everyone who comes into the building is checked. Not only the kids, but visitors and everyone else should be checked,” Jim Hile said.
“I think anything we can do to protect our kids is a good thing. So yeah, I agree with it,” Beth Eby said.
Some parents are on the fence about the issue.
“I think it’s useless. I mean, good for them that they’re trying to take steps but they got rid of our cop,” Sonya Hornberger said.
The Shamokin Area school district hopes to have law enforcement officers or a security company monitor the metal detectors. The new security system could be installed in as early as two months.