CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – South Carolina Representative, Wendell Gilliard, wants every public school in the state to have walk-through metal detectors.
He prefiled a bill last month which would require them to be placed at all public entrances to all public schools including the main entrance to the building, the gym and the football stadium.
“There’s no question in my mind,” said Gilliard. “We have the technology so let’s use it.”
In Horry County, all middle and high schools have walk-through metal detectors and elementary schools have wands. The district recommends they be used randomly by administrators in each school.
However, Coordinator of School Safety and Security at Horry County Schools, David Beaty, said if the bill passes, the district would have to purchase walk-through detectors for all 27 elementary schools. He said each one typically costs $4,500 so the district would have to spend at least $121,000 to get just one in every building.
“We need this type of measure,” said Gilliard. “Thanks to modern day technology these things are low maintenance and don’t really require that [many] people to watch over.”
But Beaty said staffing is something the district would have to figure out.
“That is the hidden cost for operating them,” he added. “You have to have somebody there to screen the people in addition to the purchase of the metal detectors.”
Gilliard said the safety of students and teachers is a top priority.
“We should take steps now before we have a tragedy,” he added.
You can read the full bill by clicking: Here.