Random Metal Detector Searches at Secondary Campuses – Parent & Student Information
The Plano Independent School District (PISD) is committed to providing a safe and secure learning environment so that education remains the primary focus for students and staff. As the district continues to evaluate and enhance school safety features districtwide, the Plano ISD Board of Trustees recently approved policy revisions permitting random, suspicion-less metal detector searches at secondary (grades 6-12) campuses. You can review the full policy online at:
Implementation of this policy will begin on secondary campuses soon. The purpose of this policy is to prevent and deter students from bringing weapons to school. School officials are authorized to conduct metal detector screenings of students and searches of their personal effects. Random metal detector searches may occur at any time and students must comply with instructions and directives from school officials during this process. A student who refuses to comply with the search process will be removed from campus and subject to disciplinary consequences pursuant to the Student Code of Conduct. The district will use both walk-through and hand-held metal detectors (wands).
The policy provides that district officials will:
- Minimize inconvenience to student and interference with the educational process;
- Maximize detection and deterrent value by regularly searching significant numbers of students;
- Ensure that patterns are not established that would allow students to avoid searches by predicting the time and location of a search; and
- Avoid instances in which any particular student or group of students is either being favored or targeted by adopting processes in advance of the search that leave the operator of the metal detector(s) a minimum of discretion.
Random metal detector searches will ordinarily be carried out in the following manner:
- Campus administrators will select random groups of students for screening. Examples of random groups include, but are not limited to, all students in a classroom, all students in a particular section of the building, all students in a specific hallway after the tardy bell, all students entering/exiting a selected door, all students on every third bus, etc.
- District safety and security staff will set up and operate metal detector equipment, and may be assisted by campus staff if needed.
- A campus administrator and the school resource officer or other peace officer will be present. The officer will not actively participate in the screening process unless a weapon is suspected or discovered, but will be present for safety.
- Students will be instructed to form one or more lines in a designated area (typically a hallway), and will be screened with a metal detector after being asked to remove all metallic items from their pockets and person.
- If a student activates a metal detector, staff will attempt to determine the source of the alarm by asking the student to confirm he or she has removed all metal objects and by using a hand-held metal detector.
- If the source of the alarm cannot be determined quickly, the student will be escorted to a private area for additional screening to determine the source of the alarm.
- In conjunction with the metal detector screening, backpacks, bags and personal items capable of concealing a weapon will be opened and inspected for the presence of weapons.