The School District of Philadelphia will begin periodically screening middle school students for weapons on Monday, citing high crime rates in the city.
The weapons screenings will take place upon arrival at six schools each day.
Before students are scanned, they will have the chance to discard inappropriate items or weapons. If any item is found, they will be detained and referred to police, 6 ABC reports.
Spokesperson Monica Lewis said the schools are selected at random and the screenings are conducted in the presence of at least one school leader.
“They’ll just have school safety officers at these schools where they already have them stationed anyway, and they’ll have the students go through a detector, if a detector is at that building, or they will have the wand,” Lewis said.
Metal detectors have already been installed at Philadelphia high schools for years, but recently, weapons began surfacing at elementary and middle schools.
“We have had at least two incidents where students may have had a weapon before they entered the building. Or there was a situation where the student had a weapon that discharged after school, outside of a building, and we assume he may have had that with him while he was in school that day,” Lewis said.
The random screenings will continue until the end of this school year. Over the summer, school leaders will decide whether to continue them next year.
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