Metal detectors fail to stop school shooting

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It was no problem to get guns into New Orleans’s John McDonogh Senior High School despite metal detectors there, said the New Orleans Times-Picayune about the school where a student was shot to death on Monday. Besides gaping holes in the school’s chain-link fence, students and visitors regularly breeze through beeping metal detectors without being scanned with a hand-held wand, say those who have spent time at the school. Long before a student was killed and four others were injured Monday, teachers at the school had warned of porous security in addition to widespread disciplinary problems. “The kids walk around, and they know they can get away with anything,” a teacher said. A local doctor and husband of a substitute teacher said he was shocked to learn that security guards were rarely at their posts next to the school’s two metal detectors. Security consultant Kenneth Trump says that parents and administrators put their faith in safety gadgets but leave gaping holes in procedures. “Security equipment is a supplement to, but not a substitute for, a comprehensive school safety plan,” said Trump, president of National School Safety and Security Services in Cleveland. The New Orleans school superintendent promises to create a safety hotline so parents and students can report concerns anonymously if necessary, and to establish student advisory boards with input on security decisions.

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