Letter-to-the-Editor: Chuck Hughes on the Need for Metal Detectors in the Rowan-Salisbury School System

Posted on June 3, 2018

Chuck Hughes, Salisbury, N.C.

For at least a dozen years one school system after another has discussed school safety issues. In Rowan County the miniscule issue of pepper spray sent the county into a tizzy.

Since school shootings appear to be happening across the U.S.A. almost every few weeks, the issue of keeping our own Rowan-Salisbury students and staff safe is an issue to be taken seriously.
The tragedies at Parkland High School and elsewhere demonstrates the need for protecting our wards. Gun ownership is not the problem–its been with us since our country was founded. School shootings have only become an issue in recent years. More resource officers, something the Rowan-Salisbury Schools did address, will only diminish the damage after shots are fired since no prompt response exists until the shooter becomes active.

I believe many school boards and school administrations nationwide have tipped-toed around the one primary step to protect our children in schools. That is to keep guns outside the school buildings. This can be accomplished only by controlling entry and exits using metal detectors manned by school resource officers. Metal detectors are being now finding there way into many large city schools across the country.

And in our Rowan-Salisbury School System Henderson Independent School has deployed metal detectors at the student’s entrance and in their office area for almost a decade with outstanding success. No young person has successfully brought a gun or a knife into the school. To date no one has been shot at Henderson although a principal got punched there a few years ago.

I don’t make this recommendation for metal detectors lightly. The argument against metal detectors is that they involve time and money. However, the safety of our children shouldn’t be held hostage by time and finances.

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