LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Little Rock School Board voted unanimously Thursday night to add metal detectors to all high school and middle schools in the district.
Records reveal just in the last two months, two loaded handguns were found on campus at Central High School. In addition, 14 facsimiles were brought onto campuses in the district this year, with one being loaded with real bullets.
Superintendent Jermall Wright proposed the measure to add in the metal detectors.
“I think we are at the point where, unfortunately, we feel it is best to move forward with a weapons detection system,” Wright said.
The district will be getting 38 metal detectors total, which will be spread out at entrances in all high schools and middle schools in the district.
The metal detectors will cost more than $600,000 for the district and will come from the district’s American Rescue Plan Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund.
One parent at Thursday night’s meeting addressed the board with her concerns for her daughter’s safety at Central High School. She said the current spike in crime in Little Rock is not just a city problem and is now getting into its schools.
“Nobody wants our schools to look and feel like a prison, but we have to do something at this point,” board member Ali Noland said.
Noland said last board meeting, several students attended to address their safety concerns to the board members. She added that any focus group surveys taken among students recently show their main concern is their safety on campus.
Wright’s proposal laid out other safety measures the district has recently implemented, as a result of the spike in firearms on campus.
The district has requested additional help from the Little Rock Police Department at “hot” areas such as Central High School. All school security personnel are also now required to add additional random scans to their daily activities.