***UPDATED ON FRIDAY, AUGUST 28 AT 6:24 PM***
Many parents tell us they feel that metal detectors would help make schools safer for kids. We reached out to the Richmond County Board of Education to find out how much that would cost.
Communications Director Kaden Jacobs told us each metal detector would cost $4500. He said Public Safety would have to assign two officers per school to operate the detectors. The cost of manpower, with the tools needed to do the job, ranges from $4 Million to $6 Million for some 60 schools.
Augusta, GA – Some parents are calling on Richmond County school leaders to install metal detectors in each school after a gun incident at Hornsby K-8 school.
“Who would have ever thought that an eight year old would have brought a gun to school,” Monique Braswell said.
Braswell is not a parent at Hornsby, but has two kids in the district. She said metal detectors are not needed.
But Hornsby parents who voiced their thoughts right after a student was grazed by a bullet in class feel they are needed.
Sonya Logan said, “Maybe we can get metal detectors or something like that.”
Shon Green added, “If you have a recurring incident of any kind of weapon you should have metal detectors up.”
24-hours after the third grade student’s gun accidentally discharged in his desk, law enforcement chose not to rally behind metal detectors.
“Having a vigilant student, staff and faculty and a well-trained student, staff and faculty is probably the best prevention,” Richmond County School Safety Director/Chief Alfonzo Williams said.
“It sounds terrible,” said Board of Education member Jack Padgett. “I may be showing my age a little bit when we didn’t have to do things like that, but I don’t have any real problem with that. If it provides safety to the kids I think we ‘ve got to do whatever we need to do.”
As much as he said it is needed, Padgett feels the cost could be tremendous to supply more than 50 schools with metal detectors.
He told us, “We should be looking at it and if we can’t do them all at least pick the schools that we’ve had problems with in the past and start with those anyway.”
“We have to be willing to let our kids come to school at least two hours early just for them to search each and every individual,” Braswell said.
She said more random checks at school might be helpful, but she is calling on other parents to do more.
“The biggest thing is I suggest that parents take the time to go and look in their children’s book bags. This will tell you when we’re not checking homework and stuff like that,” she explained.
We reached out to Richmond County Board of Education to see how much it would cost to equip each school with metal detectors. We are awaiting that data.