Will Security Concerns Overshadow Student Rights?


Courtesy MCT Campus Service

File photo of a police officer activating a metal detector.

Adam Corbo, Contributor

On January 15, a student had a loaded .22 rifle on campus while it was in it’s case and also wrapped in a blanket. Although no one was injured–thanks to quick action by a teacher, and an apparent lack of a real plan on the part of the student–many in the faculty, in the community, and even some students are calling for increased security.

In this one school year in IRCSD there have been four lockdowns this year.  A couple of these lockdowns have been for bomb threats within the district.

Ever since the Sandy Hook incident last December there have been 35 school shootings nationwide, giving a general sense of paranoia about security in schools.   The Indian River School District has already undertaken some changes to ensure every student’s safety while on campus, and proposed even more.

One of the main ideas being brought to fruition is installing metal detectors at the front doors of the schools, and locking all the other ones around the building, including the Athletic wing. That would decrease the amount of students being on time for class considering they would only be able to park in that area and enter during a very limited window of time.

At this time it is also unclear who would be manning any metal detectors–is the Board of Education going to hire security guards?  For obvious reasons, the current School Resource Officer has to be free to move around the building, not posted permanently at the doors.

Other possible changes are:

  • Inspections of student’s bags (by teachers and administrators)

  • Being at homeroom at 7:20am, which would likely make students late for class if the metal detectors are installed

  • Limiting hallway traffic (by restricting allowed reasons for student travel)

  • Teachers asking students where they are going while in the hallway, and popping their (staff members) heads into the bathrooms as they move through the halls

  • Enforcing the rule of no unattended/unsupervised classrooms (which is already a legal obligation)

Clearly some students, teachers and parents were freaked out by January’s incident; some say (privately) that they think such changes are overdue.  Others point out that having metal detectors and security guards has not always thwarted a determined shooter, and aren’t cool with the potential loss of freedom(s) outlined above.