Everyday random metal detector searches started at Taft following parent, student concerns
by BRIAN NADIG
Taft High School began conducting random metal detector searches recently on a daily basis in response to concerns expressed by some students and parents.
The detectors had been used sparingly and were being kept in storage at the school when not in use.
Taft principal Mark Grishaber has said that detectors can give a false sense of security and that the best form of security is creating an atmosphere in which students feel comfortable in reporting security threats and suspicious behavior to a staff member.
However, Taft local school council student member Lenin Plazas has said that while the detectors are not a cure-all solution, their regular use would add an extra layer of protection for the school.
In addition, three Taft parents, who also are police officers, spoke at the March 13 council meeting and asked that the detectors be on display daily and used more often.
"After meeting with the Student Voice Committee and listening to the concerns of our parents and students, I have decided to institute the full-time use of our metal detectors. Every day at both entry doors, there will be fully functioning metal detectors and x-ray machines.
"It is not logistically possible to screen 3,400 students every day, but our safety team will alternate the entry doors and the times so that no one knows when they will be screened. We will have random screenings every day," Grishaber said in a May 25 Facebook posting.
On May 22 a student reportedly made a threat against the school, but it was investigated and deemed not credible, according to Grishaber.
There have been 23 school shootings in the United Sates in 2018, according to a CNN published report.