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Metal detectors used in schools, buses and football games in Lancaster County

The school district updated its policy on metal detectors this week, giving administrators more flexibility

LANCASTER COUNTY, S.C. — The Lancaster County School District updated its policy regarding metal detectors, saying students can be scanned while getting off the bus, entering the school, or outside of classrooms.

The updated policy aims to tackle a growing problem in area schools: fights, lockdowns, and weapons on campus.  In Lancaster County, school officials said taking a proactive approach can keep students and staff safe.

“The update to this policy was to give some flexibility,” said superintendent Dr. Jonathan Phipps, “to make sure that parents understand that we periodically have the students walk through the metal detectors.”

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While the district updated its policy this week to say metal detectors can be used on school grounds and activities hosted by the district such as football and basketball games, searches with metal detectors and K9 dogs are not new to the district.

“We've had a couple of safety teams from different districts [reach out],” said Phipps, “Charlotte Meck sent some folks down to look at the process. Union County, North Carolina – they send a team down to see how the process works.”

Dustin Kirkley, a parent in Indian Land, said he’s happy to see extra measures in place.

“With everything going on with shootings and whatnot, I think that’s one of the big concerns people have because you don’t always know who brings what to school.” Said Kirkley.

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Phipps said this is a good time for districts to review safety policies because he believes there’s been an increase in expulsions and violent offenses on school grounds since students returned to in-person learning.

“You may have a student that the last time they went to school, day in and day out, was in seventh grade, but now they're in 10th grade. And so, you know, I think I think there's been a lapse,” Phipps said.

Contact Indira Eskieva at ieskieva@wcnc.com and follow her on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram.

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