Proposed bill suggest SC schools have metal detectors: Upstate S - FOX Carolina 21

Proposed bill suggest SC schools have metal detectors: Upstate School district and activists react

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GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

We've seen them in courtrooms, airports and stadiums - now the big question is, "Do we want to see them in schools?" 

"It's a serious issue, our kids are getting guns and we need to do something to prevent other children and staff from getting hurt," community activist Traci Fant said. 

"If we believed that there was a true value for student safety, we would come up with the money. But all of the experts that we've talked you have told us that metal detectors provide a false sense of security, they scare kids, and they are not fool proof," Beth Brotherton of Greenville County Schools explained. 

Fant, leader of the Freedom Fighters activist group, has shown up at Greenville County School meetings to push for metal detectors.

"I've worked with young adults who have brought knives to school, who've actually harmed other people, and the one thing that I ask is why they did it. And they said for protection because they were afraid," Fant said. 

Fant submitted a letter to all Upstate schools highlighting at least 17 times where a student brought a weapon to school. Greenville County Schools agree student safety means everything, however,  there are other factors to consider.

"What time we have to get students to school in order to get them all through a metal detector and into their classrooms with doors closed without any confusion, and not cost educational time?" Brotherton said. 

"You gotta remember that we're not just talking guns here, we're talking knives," Representative Gilliard said. 

Rep. Gilliard prefiled the bill in November 2017, suggesting South Carolina schools have metal detectors by Fall. 

"We have the technology, we should use it...we shouldn't wait on the tragedy," said Gilliard.

The bill will now be voted on in the House Committee of Education and Public Works. 

The district already has staff, including an FBI agent overseeing student safety, and all experts they've talked to say metal detectors could give a false sense of security.

"To walk in and be frisked, to stick their book bag down, on the medal detector, be patted down," Brotherton said. 

"We need to be able to have a great conversation about it, because to me, education and learning go hand in hand," Fant said. 

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