Why don’t all Palm Beach County schools have metal detectors?

The Palm Beach County School District has more than once pulled the plug on erecting a metal detector at every school, despite disturbing national events and the pleas of a handful of politicians.


The move was deemed too expensive and not effective.

The nation’s health and safety experts have largely agreed.

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A few schools in the district do have them, but there are no plans to install them countywide, Schools Police Chief Lawrence Leon told The Palm Beach Post only days before the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. He declined to name the schools with detectors for security reasons.

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Leon cited costs and logistics as impediments to using detectors at every school. “There a lot of work with them because of the way the schols are opened up you have to man them, keep up the maintenance. … It becomes very difficult,” Leon said.

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He places higher value on building relationships with students, so they will say something when they see something.

The district does have several gun detecting dogs that do make random searches of schools.

Two years ago, school board member Debra Robinson suggested investigation possibly coordinated random searches using metal detecting wands by school police officers, as was done in Miami-Dade County, but the district did not adopt such a program.

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