Recently, Gov. Eric Holcomb announced, “The state will provide metal detector wands at no cost to every school that requests them. We will leave it, of course, up to the local officials to decide how to best use the devices.” Almost every Indiana school has requested at least one metal detector wand. Since a school shooting recently happened in Indiana, there is a sense of urgency to ensure Indiana schools are safe.
With new equipment available to help keep schools safe, it is important for schools to establish guidelines to keep students safe without singling out certain students or groups of students. The Indiana School Board Association provided some guidelines to help schools use the metal detector wands legally. Here are some important points.
Written policies should be in place.
Each school corporation should have policies in place explaining how and when they will use a metal detector wand. This information should be included in the student handbook and given to parents annually.
Only trained school personnel should conduct searches.
All school staff may not be trained in using the metal detector wands. Only staff who have received training should use a detector. This ensures the school district policies are being followed.
Reasonable suspicion is all that is needed for a search.
If a staff member has reason to believe a student is in possession of a dangerous item, the student can be searched with a metal detector wand by trained staff.
Random searches can occur.
The school district should have procedures in place to explain how random metal detector searches will occur. The same group of students should not constantly find themselves being searched.
If you are a parent, it is important to know what policies your children’s school has in place. Every parent wants their children to return home each day, but parents don’t want their children to feel like they are targets of unwarranted searches. Stay informed and ask questions if you feel your child is being singled out.