Marjory Stoneman Douglas to start school year without metal detectors

Official cite privacy concerns, number of students as reasons for delay

By Tim Swift - Local10.com Digital Editor
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

PARKLAND, Fla. - The Broward County School Public Schools has decided that Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School will reopen for the 2018 school year without metal detectors.

Installing metal detectors was one of several security upgrades proposed after February's mass shooting at the school that left 17 people dead and more than a dozen wounded.

"Many issues have been raised that require the district to pause and have a more thoughtful discussion on policy and procedural aspects of this pilot (program)," the district wrote in a letter Friday to parents of Stoneman Douglas students.

The school district cited a number of concerns, including privacy issues and the large student population at the school. Roughly 3,000 students are enrolled at Stoneman Douglas.

The school board said it would discuss the metal detectors at a meeting on Aug. 14. The Broward County school year starts on Aug. 15.

The letter also detailed new security measures that students will encounter on their first day of classes: 

  • The Parkland school will now have a single point of entry
  • Students and staff will be required to wear ID badges at all times 
  • New locks have been added to the school's doors, allowing classrooms and other areas to be locked down in case of emergency
  • School security camera are in the process of being upgraded

Another security measure proposed after the shooting -- clear backpacks -- has also been reconsidered. Students were required to carry the transparent bags after the shooting, but many protested the move, calling them ineffective and an invasion of privacy. Students will return to Stoneman Douglas this month with regular backpacks.

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