Metal Detectors in Oregon Schools

Patricia Hawke

At McNary High School in Keizer, Oregon, a gym teacher found a hand gun with ammunition in a backpack in the lost and found. They didn’t find who owned the backpack and never knew its intent of being there. At Banks High School in North Plains, Oregon, a student threatened his ex-girlfriend with a gun over the phone and brought a gun to school the next day. Thankfully she had told school officials about the threat when she came to school and they found the gun in his backpack along with five rounds of ammunition.
Because of the 1999 Columbine shooting, schools have been adding metal detectors at the entrance of schools to prevent students from bringing weapons on school campuses. This to some people is looked at as a lazy way to make schools safe. Some think that schools should focus more on teaching kids the dangers of weapons and creating healthy, happy learning environments for the children so they don’t feel the need to act out in anger with weapons. As this argument seems dandy and in a perfect world, schools would be like that, but this is reality.
The reality of kids bringing weapons to schools is real. Regardless of schools teaching, a student could act out at anytime and by having a simple metal detector to further protect your children seems like a fair solution. It certainly doesn’t do any harm. Of course there are other ways violence can happen that don’t involve metal and of course not everything can be prevented, but doesn’t it seem that by having a metal detector your kids can potentially be safer?
As people have said that most acts of violence are unavoidable, if a person has the intent to hurt someone they might just do so, but how does a metal detector have no value? At the very least it discourages children from even thinking about bringing a weapon to school because of the fact that they WILL get caught.
If every school had a zero tolerance for violence policy AND a metal detector, parents could be at ease dropping their kids off at school knowing that the school they chose for their son/daughter to get the best start for their education is indeed safe. If you had a choice between two schools that gave the same academic teachings, were located in the same area, both had zero tolerance for violence policy’s and one had a metal detector, which would you choose? If just one serious act of violence could be prevented, that gives the metal detectors a lot of value.
Patricia Hawke is a staff writer for Schools K-12, providing free, in-depth reports on all U.S. public and private K-12 schools. For more information please visit Oregon School Ratings  and Oregon School Rankings