‘Extra security’: Metal detectors coming to select Broward school campuses

The Broward County School Board is making a major move to tighten security: metal detectors are coming to select campuses.

Board members approved a plan Wednesday to install metal detectors in 10 high schools and other school centers.

“Students felt safer. Parents felt safer, and the operational concerns with any new system were almost nonexistent,” school board member Allen Zeman said.

The current program is expected to move forward initially with Flanagan High School in Pembroke Pines and Taravella High School in Coral Springs.

The schools will receive the walk-through metal detectors for summer sessions. Then, depending on how the pilot program goes, eight other schools will receive them before school starts in August.

Officials haven’t listed those other schools.

“We are very fortunate. I am expecting within 18 months that all high schools will have it,” Broward County Superintendent Peter Licata said.

Officials first discussed the plans earlier this year after a number of students were found with weapons on campuses.

“It’s not the answer all, end all, be all, but it is certainly a major layer and a major deterrent of students who want to bring a weapon to school,” Licata said.

Local 10 News spoke with several parents at Flanagan High School who were supportive of the decision.

“My son goes here and I think it is a good thing,” father Juan Bolivar said. “I would think it is extra security.”

Parent Gus Geiger said, “You can’t control everything, but the bottom line is sometimes you put measures to try to do the best job you can.”

But while some were supportive of the extra protection, others said they also recognized the downfalls that could come with the enhanced security.

“It becomes an issue of our basic freedoms versus safety. It’s a hard call,” Geiger said.

Currently, Broward schools do random checks with handheld metal detectors called wanding.

The cost of installing walk-through metal detectors in the first 10 schools will be $540,000.

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