Broward News

Palm Beach Mayors Call for Metal Detectors in Schools

The mayors of Riviera Beach, Belle Glade, and Magnolia Park went before the school board on Wednesday to ask the district to install metal detectors in schools.

The three Palm Beach mayors have put together an online petition that has garnered more than 100 signatures so far.

"There's no limit to safety," said Riviera Beach Mayor Thomas Masters. "Anybody can take a gun and go shoot into a school."

The mayors came at the district with the hard sell that places such as airports, courtrooms, and even the school board building all have metal detectors and that children should be afforded the same.

However, not all are on board with the idea.

Board member Karen Brill argued that metal detectors in schools are not the answer and that there should be a greater emphasis on mental health and mentorship programs

Others on the board did not say whether they were for or against the measure but said that to find funds to make metal detectors happen, municipalities and the county must work together.

As for the cost, the mayors did not provide any info on how big of a bill the county would get in installing metal detectors in schools.

The district is already cash-strapped enough as it is.

But Masters says he'll lobby state officials, if has to, to make this happen.

"Children's lives are just as important," he said when making the argument that schools should have metal detectors such as the ones found in the school board building.

Meanwhile, Superintendent Wayne Gent announced that the district would be assigning police aides to schools with multiple entry points and that this new measure would be effective immediately.

Gent did not comment, however, on the metal detectors idea.

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph