Students screened with metal detectors at some Georgetown schools

By Nicole Johnson  bio | email | Twitter

GEORGETOWN, SC (WCSC) - Metal detector screenings. You go through them at the airport, at the courthouse and now at some South Carolina schools.

Georgetown County School District now has metal detectors at its four high schools and four middle schools.

"Put your books, your back sack, everything metal in here," a school official told a student approaching the metal detector Tuesday morning.

It is the first time students at Georgetown High School went through metal detectors and were searched.

"We had to take off our belts, all our jewelry. He almost made me take my lip ring out," Lauren Edwards said.

"Had to take off my jewelry and my jacket," Jakwonna Linen said.

"I had to put my purse down and they went through my stuff, and they did not put my stuff back," Aledraline Linen said.

Students emptied their pockets of ipods, wallets and more Tuesday as school staffers searched purses and even flipped through text books.

"The students know that we're concerned about safety, and I want to assure the public that we're doing everything possible to keep everyone safe," Principal Mike Cafaro said.

The district has portable metal detectors and wands that they can take around to different schools. The inspections are done at random.

So far at four schools officials say they haven't found anything illegal except cigarettes and one pocket knife.

"We have law enforcement. They're going to be placed in hands of law enforcement because even though this is a school, we have laws that we all have to follow," Cafaro said.

A green light on the metal detector means students are good to go, but if the machine is sounded, students are subject to an extra wave down.

"I feel invaded. I don't like it. We have to go through this every day for no reason. I don't like it," Aiswin Nelson said.

"It was really weird for someone to look through your books, like what can you put in your books?" Brianna Parsons said.

"I feel that the school cares about our safety," Ezekiel Harvey said.

School officials say they didn't find any weapons or illegal drugs in the search.

GCSD has eight portable metal detectors and 16 new wands this school year. They were paid for with federal grant money.

These metal detectors come after a 14-year-old student was accused of opening fire on a school resource officer in Horry County, a neighboring school district.

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