SACRAMENTO – In the aftermath of deadly assaults in the nation’s schools, state Sen. Jeff Stone, R-Riverside, has introduced Senate Bill 1443, which would assist schools in providing metal detectors on campus.
Stone’s legislation passed the Senate Education Committee with bi-partisan support this week and now and moves on to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
The bill, if passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Brown, would create a voluntary pilot program in Riverside County to allow the Riverside County Office of Education to receive $100,000 in state funds to purchase metal detectors if the office raised $900,000 from private donations.
The legislation is the result of conversations Stone had with families and school officials throughout Riverside County who were concerned with rising crime and violence on school campuses.
“Parents in my district want to ensure that when their kids go to school that they are going into an environment where there are no weapons,” Sen. Stone told the committee. “If this program saves one life I think it has accomplished its goal.”
At least one school district in the Coachella Valley has eliminated school resource officers. Would metal detectors help bridge the gap in security?
In July, the Coachella Valley Unified School District ended its relationship with the school resource officers it contracted with through the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
Riverside County would not be the first in the nation to implement metal detectors in schools.
Hundreds of Indiana schools have requested more than 3,200 hand-held metal detectors under a state program aimed at improving school safety that offers the devices for free, according to the Associated Press.
Day-to-day use of metal detectors is the exception, not the rule, in the majority of U.S. schools. However, they are used in some larger urban districts with a history of chronic weapons offenses, according to the National School Safety and Security Services.
The majority of schools in the United States do not use metal detectors on a day-to-day basis, according to the National School Safety and Security Services. While there are no credible statistics on the exact number of schools using metal detectors, stationary metal detectors used on a daily basis are typically limited to large urban school districts with a chronic history of weapons-related offenses.
Following high-profile incidents of school violence, such as school shootings or stabbing incidents, it is not uncommon for some parents, the media and others in a school-community to call for metal detectors in response to such incidents, according to National School Safety and Security Services. Parents understandably want some type of “guarantee” that these types of high-profile incidents will not occur again. Some falsely believe that metal detectors can provide that guarantee.
Moreover, there is no single strategy, or for that matter even a combination of strategies that can provide 100 percent guarantee that there will not be a shooting or other act of violence at a school, according to National School Safety and Security Services.
Watch Stone advocate for metal detectors here: