GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Guilford County School officials allowed parents and community members to become a part of the pilot program that would bring more security to high schools across the county.
School officials placed several touchless security scanners at Smith High School and High Point Central High School as part of a pilot program to test the scanners.
The push for extra security comes on the heels of the deadly school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Guilford County school leaders said they want to stay one step ahead of any possible threat that could harm students and staff.
If the pilot program is successful, the plan is to place the scanners inside 19 high schools throughout the county and have them operated by administrative officials. The scanners would also be added to the school resource officers already inside the buildings.
Officials said the scanner would go from $750,000 to $1 million a year.
Mike Richey, GCS executive director of emergency management, said the scanners are meant to detect any item that could be used in an attack.
“It’s looking for a barrel shape, a slide shape, a receiver shape for a rifle, and that’s what it’s focusing in on so it can weed out the everyday item of keys and cell phones,” Richey said.
The scanners would not make kids late for class or slow down the process of them walking through the doors. People can walk through the scanners in a group or by themselves at the pace they walk.
If the scanner detects anything similar to a weapon, an alarm will sound off, causing the scanner to take a picture and short video of the person with the item.
Marry Harris is a parent who witnessed and demonstrated the scanner on Wednesday. She said seeing them gave her a sense of added security for kids.
“I feel more confident now that they can be safe in school…we didn’t know that we needed to worry about it, and now that we see that we need to worry about it, I want that to happen for the schools,” Harris said.
Harris said the scanner should have been put inside schools months ago.
“I’m really concerned about our children, and I want them to be safe. I don’t want them to be afraid to come to school, and I don’t want the parents to be afraid to send them to school,” Harris said.
She said she hopes the scanner program will end in every school.
School officials encourage parents and the community to test them out and ask questions Thursday at High Point High School from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.