The principal and incoming superintendent of Evanston Township High School says stationary metal detectors will not be installed at ETHS.
Marcus Campbell told the District 202 school board on Monday night that “metal detectors do not serve as a preventive measure.”
Campbell said “there are no simple solutions” to school safety, but “metal detectors can be easily bypassed.”
ETHS had an independent safety assessment following an incident late last year where two loaded guns were discovered in the building. The school was locked down for several hours, and three students were charged. The guns were not fired, and no one was injured.
Following that incident, a parents’ group called for the installation of a weapons detection system.
However, Campbell said even though he is not calling for fixed detectors, he said ETHS can “take steps for a safer school,” beginning with building “an environment of trust and support.”
While not everything in the safety audit was revealed for security reasons, a number of recommendations from the safety expert were outlined, including making sure all classroom doors are closed and locked at all times, more evacuation maps and additional emergency supplies such as bullhorns.
The report also suggested that ETHS “consider using existing metal detectors for random searches,” although there was no statement that this will indeed be done.
Campbell said student and staff safety is the highest priority, but “what is right for ETHS may not be right for others.”
Also at Monday night’s meeting, board members re-elected Pat Savage-Williams as board president and Monique Parsons as vice-president.