So far, most school districts do not have metal detectors

Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 6:15 PM EST
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There are 67 school districts in Florida. Several districts, like Martin County, do not have any type of metal detectors in their schools, but the conversations about using them are ongoing.

Broward County schools implemented a metal detector wanding program this school year. They do randomized screenings with hand-held metal detector wands.

So far, 141 screenings at randomly selected schools led to 468 prohibited items being removed.

Some of the weapons found were stun devices, knives, brass knuckles, an airsoft gun. However, the most common of the items found were prescription and over the counter medications, vape pens and pepper spray.

WFLX found that the majority of school districts that have responded to WFLX, so far, do not have any type of metal detector screening.

WFLX called Martin County Sheriff William Snyder and asked his law enforcement perspective on why school districts might not be using metal detectors for students and staff at schools right now.

“What that starts to evoke is the imagery of TSA where even pilots, stewardesses, staff everybody goes through it. There’s really no end to what you can do to keep security,” he said. “It’s just what can you afford now, what makes sense, what increases a student’s safety without being so detrimental to the school process that everybody suffers.”

Metal detectors could soon be coming to Palm Beach County schools, however.

Miami-Dade County said it does not have permanent metal detectors at schools but it does have a random metal detection system.

In the Orlando area, Orange County schools said the same thing and added those random screenings can include portable walk-thru detectors and metal detection wands at all middle and high schools.

WFLX is still reaching out to school districts and plan to get a broader perspective on where our schools stand on metal detectors.

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