Does Post-Columbine School Security Work?


A decade after the Columbine High School massacre, students walk through metal detectors and past video cameras. A thriving cottage industry pitches bulletproof backpacks and other tools to prevent “the next Columbine.” Has all the money and the efforts to build a state of security paid off for our children? , asks the Dallas Morning News. “We just don’t know,” said Lynn Addington, an American University professor who studies crime statistics and youth violence.

Richardson, Tx., schools ditched post-Columbine metal detectors after a year, in part because of the cost and inconvenience of screening as many as 2,000 students every morning. Dallas schools have sophisticated cameras monitor high schools. Many schools have dress codes, making it easier to identify young people who belong there. Several school districts use the “Raptor,” a computerized gadget that scans visitors’ identification and checks it against a database of sex offenders. Gary Hodges, Dallas schools’ director of emergency operations and compliance, said the Raptor works, and just about every school using it has had a positive hit.

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