SCOTTSBURG, IN (WAVE) – Your child's school may soon have a new tool to help keep students safe. Governor Eric Holcomb announced a plan Monday to provide handheld metal detectors to any school that wants them, cost-free to schools.
It's part of a plan, Gov. Holcomb said in a YouTube video released with the announcement that is aimed at better protecting schools.
"The state will provide metal detector wands at no cost to every school that requests them. We will leave it, of course, to the local officials how best to use the devices," said Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb.
For districts that request them, one metal detector will be provided for every 250 students.
Scott County District 2 Superintendent Marc Slaton said he plans to apply for the handheld metal detectors, or metal wands, for schools in his district. How and when they will be used will need to be determined to ensure both student safety and privacy, Slaton said.
"They're supposed to be here mid-August," Slaton said. "For us locally, that fits just about the time our kids come back in Scott for an August 13 return date. They need a plan for how to use the metal detector wands and when."
"Do I have the right to wand every kid as they enter the building?" Slaton said. "Or is it random and if it's random, what does random look like? And who is doing that, who's holding the wand and who decides who gets wanded? You wand someone and they walk through, no harm no foul. But now you get a beep, and now what?"
Schools that want the detectors will need to apply by July 19, they're expected to arrive mid-August. For more information on how to apply, schools should visit the Indiana Department of Administration website here.
Slaton said the detectors are one part of a larger school safety plan for Scott County District 2 that he hopes in the near future will include school resource officers. Plans are underway both with county leaders and city leaders to bring SRO's into the district's six schools.
"No one piece is the end all be all to that but it is a part of the overall solution," Slaton said.
Many in the community agree.
"I think it's better to have one in there, least you've got something in there to protect the children," said Darrell Monroe.
"I believe that we need them with the way the situation is right now in the world," said Alan Edwards.
"I would still rather see resource officers patrolling the grounds and not just sitting in an office inside," said John Cowing.
While Slaton waits on those metal detector wands to come in from the state, how to use them will become his homework.
"Hopefully, we'll have it all figured out. We have a month," Slaton said.