Metal Detectors Coming to Santaluces

Metal Detector at John I Leonard High School. Photo taken by Jesus Armas, principal at John I.
Metal Detector at John I Leonard High School. Photo taken by Jesus Armas, principal at John I.
Jesus Armas

After winter break, Santaluces Community High School (SCHS) will have metal detectors for more campus security. Ever since the Stoneman Douglas shooting in 2018, a need for stronger safety has been a large topic of discussion among school administrators and the school board. The school shooting has influenced the metal detector decision for larger security measures, an example of which is the enforcement of school student IDs which are to be worn while students, faculty, and staff are on campus.

The point of these measures is the immediate detection of weapons as students and visitors enter our campus. It will stop people from bringing in something that does not belong in school, like knives and drugs, the very items administrators in schools with detectors have intercepted.

This decision is a big change for our school and people have mixed opinions about it. This affects students, teachers, the principal, the administration, and even parents. We asked people who will be affected how they feel about this new change and received different responses.

Juberlinda Montilus, an 11th-grade SCHS student says, “I feel like as though there are pros and cons in this situation. One pro would be that it would be safer for our school and students could feel more secure but one con is the process would take a long time just to get into the school because there are a lot of kids here at Santaluces. So I feel like it’s going to be wasting time and taking away time from learning.”

Mardnisha Saintilus, another SCHS student, feels differently, “I think it’s very excessive and I feel it’s going to put too much pressure on the students. I believe it’s going to cause a lot of chaos and dysfunction. Having metal detectors is going to be very time-consuming.”

Some parents feel very strongly metal detectors are an added layer of security. “I really don’t have any reason to not like this idea. I feel like it’s for students’ safety, as well as the teachers. It doesn’t affect the students in a negative way, so it shouldn’t really be a big problem,” one parent stated.

Considering metal detectors are coming for everyone at SCHS, we asked several teachers for their opinions. One teacher said, “I can argue both sides of the issue very well. I can see the importance and necessity given today’s time and culture. What’s going on in society always carries over onto school campuses, whether for good or bad. I can also see why some people, especially students,  might feel that it’s an invasion of their personal space but it does come down to safety and security. Offense is not enough these days, unfortunately.”

Another teacher shared, “I absolutely agree with metal detectors coming to the school because for safety reasons it will be beneficial to the staff and the students. We don’t want anyone that has weapons on our campus.”

Two other teachers feel “okay” about them. One shared she’s worried that it’s going to clog the morning routine at first but for the safety of the staff and students, thinks we are going to be okay. “I hope that it’s not going to be something they use to say that we are safe when there are other things we need to do because there are other ways to get weapons into school. I hope they keep looking at other things too.”

Seminole Ridge Community High School, Palm Beach Lakes High School, Palm Beach Gardens High School, and John I. Leonard High School already have metal detectors in place, and soon SCHS will be added to that list. John I Leonard Principal, Jesus Armas, shared how his campus handled the installation of metal detectors, “I believe the metal detector pilot program at John I. Leonard High School has been a success.  We have implemented a student intake system that is as expeditious as our resources and logistics allow it to be.  I believe that the school is safer with the metal detectors than without. When I ask students if they feel safer because we have them, they overwhelmingly tell me that they do feel safer. We have received, for all practical purposes, no pushback from students, parents, or faculty. As to whether or not it has prevented anything, that’s hard to prove. It’s impossible for me to know if a student who potentially would have brought a weapon on campus did not bring it because of the detectors.  As of today, we have not confiscated a weapon from a student because of the metal detectors.”

Santaluces Principal, Tameka Robinson, also answered questions I had about the new safety precautions. “I think this is a good idea as it will provide an extra level of safety. Metal detectors will impact our school in a positive way. Students and staff members will feel safer while on campus. We have amazing students. As with other safety protocols, students will follow our expectations as they always do. In the space we are in at this time, I think any and all safety protocols the district may provide are necessary.”

There are many pros and cons regarding the decision to bring metal detectors to SCHS. While they will provide stronger safety for those on campus, some complain they can lead to an invasion of privacy and will take up a lot of time.

We’re hoping everything goes well and know our campus will feel safer with metal detectors. We look forward to seeing them after winter break.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Tribe Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *