Sunday, April 14

Broward County School Board approves metal detectors on campuses

Broward County schools will follow in Palm Beach County’s footsteps and get walk-through metal detectors on school campuses, school board members voted Wednesday.

The School Board of Broward County approved a plan to use CEIA OpenGate metal detectors the same ones currently being used at more than a dozen Palm Beach County public schools at 10 high schools and six through 12 centers.

The goal is to launch a pilot program over the summer at two schools and expand from there.

The district will spend $540,000 on the first 10 schools.

“Approving the purchase of CEIA OpenGate weapons detection systems for all District high schools would be a transformative step in reinforcing student and staff safety,” a school board document read. “This proactive measure would significantly mitigate the risk of weapons on campus, ensuring a safer, more secure learning environment.”

Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Peter Licata told WPTV education reporter Stephanie Susskind in February the district was planning to implement walk-through metal detectors after watching the successful rollout of the technology in Palm Beach County schools.

“It’s not the end all, be all. But if it’s catching one or two along the way, it’s well worth it,” Licata said.

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Right now, Broward County schools use metal detection wands.

Licata said his staff has visited Palm Beach County campuses using metal detectors and has taken note of the district’s success.

“They’ve been incredibly cooperative up there. And it’s going to be probably roughly the same type of apparatus,” Licata said. “There’s a learning curve, but hopefully ours is a lot shorter because they did the hard work for us to start.”

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