GREENBRIER, Ark. – The Greenbrier School District upped their security, installing metal detectors at the front doors of some of the schools after two threats of school shootings in the span of a few months.
After a threat of a school shooting began circulating last week and after the superintendent, Scott Spainhour, said a ninth grader brought a gun to school back in September, Greenbrier fast-tracked efforts to get metal detectors installed in school buildings.
“It really made us think and challenge ourselves about the kind of security that we provide and are providing, so this made great sense for us to be able to add these to the middle school, junior high and high school,” Spainhour said.
“Just giving them that layer of protection and security is so reassuring and I’m excited that we can provide that for kids,” Greenbrier Middle School Principal Sarah Jerry said.
While the threat last week was aimed at a school in Greenbrier, Tennessee, parents here in Arkansas were very concerned.
“At first it was an eye-roll because I was like ‘oh my god it is happening again’, and the next part of that was ‘okay um, I need to get my kid’,” Greenbrier parent Lynita Langley-Ware said.
The metal detectors use special technology and cameras to detect weapons as people make their way in and out of the doors. Project manager and installer Aerial Hutchinson explained what the metal detectors will pick up.
“It won’t pick up your pens it won’t pick up maybe even a small cylinder, but it will pick up anything in the shape of a weapon,” Hutchinson said.
The price tag is over $125,000 for a double lane and more than $70,000 for a single lane, plus the software technology.
“Regardless of the price, I mean if it works and it’s able to detect weapons kids may have concealed on their person, or if a visitor may have concealed on their person, then it’s worth it,” Spainhour stated.
“You know, we could’ve done this a year or so ago and we might’ve been a little further ahead of the game, but still it’s fabulous that they are getting them, so I applaud them for that,” Langley-Ware said.
The metal detectors were placed at all of the front doors, and there are three placed at different locations at the middle school and junior high. School district officials said they will start being used immediately and they will continue to train staff.