Who pays for the ongoing cost? If there is no new tax, will the funding come from other budgets? Will it cut into current programs?
The initial cost is almost small compared to the ongoing costs. Let's look at an example from another state that illustrates this:
...the weapon detection program run by the New York City (NYC) Board of Education in about 50 of its inner-city high schools (exhibit 3.5). For just one of its schools with about 2,000 students, the weapon detection program requires 9 security officers for approximately 2 hours each morning.
Two officers run the two initial portal metal detectors, two officers run the baggage x-ray machines, one officer runs the secondary portal metal detector for students who fail the initial detector, two officers (a male and a female)
operate the hand scanners on students who fail the secondary metal detector, and two officers keep the students flowing smoothly and quickly through the system, such that nobody is able to bypass any part of the system.
It should be noted that the only way these schools are able to avoid huge waiting lines, even with this much equipment and this many officers, and still get everybody to class on time is by a complete restructuring of their class periods. There is a significant staggering of first period start times so that the students arrive over a 90-minute period.
On average, NYC school safety officials estimate that they fund approximately 100 additional security officer hours a week for each of their schools that screen for weapons.
I've found when you bring up hard numbers, the support for programs that offer few advantages and bring new problems often disappear. But right now I'm seeing the gun lobby getting both Democrats and Republicans to pay for
the NRA's favorite "solution" for school security, more guns in schools.
The slaughter lobby knows that if someone else pays for a program, it's easier to implement. They also know that if people don't have to pay for a program they aren't as demanding about its effectiveness.
But what about the consequences? Sundermeier notes that the nature of schools would have to change. And that there is a huge amount of culture change that would happen.
Metal detectors are part of the "hardening" of schools program. I think that people should look at the consequences of these changes.
|Photo by Kevin Mazur|
Here's Alex King, a senior at North Lawndale College Prep High School in Chicago. In a Teen Vogue op-ed
he explained why “hardening” schools isn’t the answer to gun violence.