Lancaster Co schools implement plan to use metal detectors

LANCASTER COUNTY, SC (WBTV) - Lancaster County School District (LCSD) is ready to roll out metal detectors for all high school students. The recent gun violence in the community and a student getting arrested for bringing a loaded gun to Andrew Jackson High School have the district taking action.

School leaders say they have been talking about a plan for metal detectors for the past eight months. They say this is the perfect time to implement that plan.

"Having a gun found at school certainly demonstrates to us there's a need to make sure we have some type of deterrent in place," LCSD Director of Safety and Transportation Bryan Vaughn said.

Vaughn says the checks will be unannounced and could happen any day and at any time.

"It could be a situation where we come in at 9 o'clock in the morning and we go to a classroom and pull kids out of class," Vaughn said.

The superintendent says he is not worried about the disruption of the students' education because of the random checks.

"Instruction is important of course," Superintendent Dr. Jonathan Phipps said. "But the most important thing of our job is to keep kids safe."

The district hopes the plan to use metal detectors will change the atmosphere in schools.

"We're trying to create a perception that it's uncomfortable to have weapons at school," Vaughn said.

A metal detector can cost up to $7,500. The district already has two but wants to purchase four more.

"Our number one priority is to keep kids safe," Phipps said. "So if that's your number one priority, you can find the money."

While the district waits for additional detectors, it will use the half-dozen wands it has to conduct the searches.

School staff and school resource officers will assist in conducting the searches.

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