Metal Detector Screening Procedures

  • The Office of Safety and Security shall be responsible for the monitoring and enforcement of guidelines relative to metal detector screening procedures. The Office of Safety and Security shall have the authority to request metal detector screenings as necessary.

    The purpose of the metal detector screening is to discourage students from bringing weapons into the schools. Accordingly, metal detectors may be used at District schools and school-related functions of such schools, on a random and periodic basis.

    All students entering Columbus City Schools are subject to screening.

    Metal detector screenings will be conducted by properly trained Safety and Security staff using magnometers (also known as walk-through metal detectors) and hand-held scanning devices (also known as wands), and monitored by the Director of Safety and Security or his/her designee. Wand screenings will be conducted by staff of the same gender as the student when possible.

    1. Students shall not be informed in advance regarding the specific dates on which, or the locations where, metal detector screenings will occur.

    2. Prior to a metal detector screening being conducted, a sign or signs announcing a screening for weapons shall be posted, on the day of the metal detector screening, outside the school or school-related function, at a main entrance or entrances. The notices will state as follows:

      1. Weapons are not permitted in Columbus City Schools’ facilities.

      2. All students entering a Columbus City Schools’ facility may be required to submit to a metal detector screening to ensure that weapons are not brought in a District facility.

      3. Bags, purses, backpacks, etc. may also be screened using metal detecting wands and/or by hand.

      4. Refusal to cooperate with the screening procedure will result in the denial of entry and/or disciplinary action for students. A school administrator will attempt to contact the student’s parent/guardian to discuss the student’s refusal to cooperate.

    C. When a metal detector is being used, students will be permitted to use only designated entrances to the school or school-related function. District staff may be stationed at other entrances, as necessary, to prevent individuals from opening those entrances to admit others into the building or school-related function. Wherever possible, metal detection screenings shall be conducted in areas where there are District video surveillance cameras. Students, staff members and visitors will not be permitted to use personal video or audio recording devices while waiting for a screening or in the vicinity of where a screening is being conducted.

    1. Students entering the school or school-related function are subject to screening although those conducting the screening may choose to limit the screening by any lawful random formula. For example, if the lines become too long, the screening may be limited to every second or third person. Once a random formula is utilized, it shall be applied without deviation until it is ended by order of the Director of Safety and Security or his/her designee. A random formula shall not be ended in order to screen a particular student or person. Exceptions to the metal detection screening shall be made on a case by case basis by the Director of Safety and Security or his/her designee. Exceptional circumstances may include issues related to physical limitations, health concerns or emotional well-being concerns. Safety and Security staff will consult with a building administrator regarding any exceptions.

    2. Safety and Security staff and school staff are prohibited from selecting a particular student or person to screen unless there is a reasonable suspicion to believe that the student is in possession of a weapon.

    3. Prior to use in conducting a metal detector screening pursuant to these guidelines, each screening device to be used shall be examined by a person familiar with its operation to determine if it is in proper working order. A metal detector screening device shall not be used if there is any question as to whether it is in proper working order.

    4. Each person operating a metal detector screening device shall be trained in the proper use of the device and the detection of any malfunction in the operation of the instrument. Adjustments in the settings of the device shall only be made at the direction of the Director of Safety and Security or his/her designee. Efforts shall be made during the screening process to avoid having the screener or the screening equipment come into physical contact with the student being screened

    1. As to each individual screening, the Safety and Security staff will ask the student, to remove all metal objects from his/her person (e.g., belt buckles, jewelry, keys, coins, batteries, electronic devices, etc.) and to place the metal objects and any bags, backpacks, briefcases, knapsacks, purses, or parcels on a table. During peak hours, a District staff person shall be present to monitor and assist with the process other than direct use of a metal detection device.

    2. If a student's body activates the screening device, the Safety and Security staff will repeat the request to remove metal objects. A second wand screening will then be conducted and if the device is activated again, the Safety and Security staff will escort the student to a private screening area for a more thorough screening (e.g., turn out their pocket, remove coats, take off their shoes). An administrator will be present during this screening.

    3. When a student’s bag or parcel activates the scanning device, the Safety and Security staff is to request him/her to open the container in question so that staff can look for weapons.

    4. Safety and Security staff are required to complete documentation each time a weapon or contraband is discovered in the course of a metal detection screening. Such reports shall be maintained as part of the student’s educational record. When a student is in possession of a weapon, or there is a threat of imminent danger, staff must immediately notify law enforcement.

    5. The screening is intended to be a screening for weapons, however, other contraband discovered in the course of a metal detector screening may also be removed from a student.

    6. All property removed from the student as a result of the above procedures that may be legitimately brought on school premises or to school functions will be returned to the student. All other property will not be returned to the student. A building administrator, in consultation with Safety and Security staff, will determine whether the property should be returned to the student.

    7. Property removed from the student or the student's bags or parcels, possession of which is a violation of the Guide to Student Success, Board policy and administrative guidelines, and/or the law, shall cause a student to be disciplined in accordance with the Guide to Student Success and may subject the student to criminal prosecution and/or juvenile proceedings for violations of law.

    1. Nothing in the procedures set forth above shall limit the authority of the Board and Board employees to remove other contraband from a student when there is reasonable suspicion to believe that a particular student is in possession of an article or thing, the possession of which constitutes inappropriate behavior under the Guide to Student Success.

    2. A copy of the Metal Detector Screening Procedures shall be available to each person who will in any way be involved with the conducting and/or monitoring of screenings.

    Click here for the Metal Detector Search Procedure Administrative Guidelines (7440B)