Dorchester Dist. 2 to implement metal detectors at all high schools

Published: Oct. 4, 2023 at 12:01 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 4, 2023 at 7:52 PM EDT
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SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Dorchester School District Two announced they would implement metal detectors at all three district high schools in an email to parents.

Superintendent Dr. Shane Robbins said Wednesday that rolling out the devices in the high schools -- Fort Dorchester High School, Ashley Ridge High School and Summerville High School -- has been in the works for several months.

“There is no end goal,” Robbins said. “The end goal would be safety, you know, to create the most safe and secure environment possible for our students and staff. There’s no one solution that’s going to do that for us, and so we’re using a variety of tools to do that. You know, our anonymous reporting, our See Something, Say Something, our standard response protocols and now metal detectors.”

He added officials were trying to have these metal detectors in place before school started, but due to the units taking so long to arrive, they had to train their employees before they officially rolled it out.

Director of Security Preston Giet said the district has bought 14 metal detectors from the company Ceia, which has units installed at airports and stadiums across the country. Each unit costs around $20,000.

Officials said there will be multiple devices placed at random locations in each school every day. Students who trigger the alarm will be searched to investigate what set it off.

Prior to Wednesday, the devices were installed at RISE Academy, the district’s alternative program, and at extracurricular activities. Giet said the district office in Summerville will also be getting a metal detector.

On Wednesday, the schools also conducted a drill of their “hold” portion of their response protocol.

Summerville High Principal Dr. Michelle Leviner said the school selected a random entrance for the drill.

“Our team has already conducted a debriefing session on this morning’s drill, and we are actively working to proactively enhance the safety of our students and staff,” Leviner said in an email to parents. “The district is currently in the process of acquiring additional detector units for our school. We plan to continue using these detectors on a regular basis, at various locations, and in different hallways throughout the year.”

Officials said installing the metal detectors should act as a deterrent and help reduce the number of lockdowns in their schools.

The metal detectors will be at the high schools for the rest of the school year, but Robbins said the district’s middle schools could also be getting metal detectors soon.