Metal detectors installed at Tuscaloosa middle, high schools

Tuscaloosa City Schools students in middle and high school will now be required to go through metal detectors to enter the school building on random search days.

Tuscaloosa City Schools Safety Specialist A.B. Green said the new machines are programmed to detect contraband but not everyday like belt buckles or cellphones, meaning quicker screenings. If the machines go off, a student and their backpack will be scanned separately.

“The idea is that we want to make sure that students are bringing all of the things in the class that they need and none of the things that they don’t need. We want to verify that our schools are safe, so we do these detection services at every campus and this year we are trying to make sure that we increase the frequency of these services,” said Green.

Earlier this month, the Tuscaloosa City Board of Education approved a three-year contract with Integrity Event Security Providers for weapon detection services in the district’s secondary schools.

The company and school administrators will make sure the students get through the security line fast and efficiently in the morning at the start of the school day.

“We are a school and we are about education. That’s the important thing and all of these surrounding services that we provide is to make sure that education can happen in a safe environment,” said Green.

School resource officers and contract officers with the Tuscaloosa Police Department are also part of the process.

“We want to make sure that our kids come to school and learn and be safe while learning. We also want the teacher to feel safe as they teach, so this is something I think will go on through the duration of school,” said TPD Deputy Chief Sebo Sanders.

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