Meridian High School has had metal detectors for nearly 20 years

David Terry said the detectors give everyone a sense of security. (Source: KFVS)
David Terry said the detectors give everyone a sense of security. (Source: KFVS)
Principal Rinella said the metal detectors were the school's response to the Columbine shooting in 1999. (Source: KFVS)
Principal Rinella said the metal detectors were the school's response to the Columbine shooting in 1999. (Source: KFVS)

MOUNDS, IL (KFVS) - How do we keep our kids safe in school? It's a question that many are asking themselves in recent weeks.

Some schools are looking at metal detectors.

Meridian High School has been using metal detectors for almost 20 years.

"Safety is the community, safety is what the teachers, the students, the administrators, community members and everyone puts into it," Tony Rinella said.

As principal of Meridian High School, Rinella's responsibility is to keep his kids safe.

"Safety is all-encompassing, it's a community effort," he said.

Metal detectors have been part of that effort for some time now.

"Students in this community wanted to be proactive so they pushed for and got metal detectors installed in their school to feel safe and secure while they're at school every day."

These devices won't solve the problem completely.

"I don't think you can 100 percent guarantee any sort of elimination of anything along those lines so many factors have to come into play."

David Terry said the detectors give everyone a sense of security.

"I think the staff, as well as the students, wouldn't feel as safe as they do without the metal detectors," Terry said. "It's better to be safe than sorry."

Some students agreed.

"Somebody won't walk in with a gun, somebody won't walk in here with a knife and try to do something dumb to harm anybody," Sophomore JadeHouston said.

"You never know what's going through people's head, so you don't know if they're going to bring something to harm you or not so that's why I'm glad they got metal detectors here," Derrick Blake, a junior, said.

A solution that is part assurance and part deterrence.

"We just have that 100 percent assurance that we are at least attempting to prevent some sort of incident or something along those lines."

Principal Rinella said the metal detectors were the school's response to the Columbine shooting in 1999.

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