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Board of Education Wrap-Up
May 24, 2023 – The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Board of Education unanimously approved the purchase of 94 additional metal detectors for middle schools and athletic facilities during their meeting on Tuesday night.
The district put out a request for bids for the additional metal detectors in April and the lowest bid came from CEIA USA, offering a final purchase price of $304,863.10. Money for the purchase will come from leftover local funds from this fiscal year that were initially intended for additional traffic control spending. The district has spent much of this school year moving a smaller supply of metal detectors between schools for random use, and the extra units will allow schools to more readily deploy metal detectors as necessary.
Chief Safety, Security, and Emergency Management Officer Jonathan Wilson says that this move is meant to improve access to security equipment for schools, but not necessarily to increase the frequency of their use. His department has conducted surveys with over 9,000 middle and high school students to gauge the impact of metal detectors on feelings of security in school, and while majorities say that they feel safe at school and that metal detectors make them feel safer, they do not support everyday use of metal detectors. It’s important for the district to keep its options open so it can keep fine-tuning its approach to student safety, and having more metal detectors should increase those options.
“What we’re saying by purchasing these metal detectors is that we’re going to have them at our disposal when we need them,” Wilson said. “Are they 100%? Absolutely not. Are they something? Yes.”
Also on the Board’s agenda for the evening were:
- A performance by the Mineral Springs Theatre program
- Recognitions for Dr. Maya Angelou Essay Contest winners, spring sports state champions, scholarship recipients, and several other remarkable student activities
- A public hearing and subsequent approval of the naming of the Stan Elrod Scoreboard at Reynolds High School
- Approval of the 2023-24 alternative accountability model, an amendment to the memorandum of agreement with Forsyth Technical Community College calling for improved communication, authorization of North Carolina Education Lottery funds for payment of 2013 and 2015 debt service, and several other action items
The Board of Education will meet again on Tuesday, June 13.