All Orangeburg Co. schools to get metal detectors following August school shooting

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Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 8:08 PM EST
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ORANGEBURG, S.C. (WIS) - The fatal school shooting in Michigan has some in Orangeburg remembering the school shooting in August where three students were shot in the Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School parking lot.

The school district announced Wednesday metal detectors will be installed in every school, including the elementary schools.

Orangeburg County School District representatives say it’s a small price to pay for the student’s safety. Parents in the area also agree.

“First of all I want to express our condolences to the families of victims of the Michigan incident. It’s a sad commentary that we’ve reached this point but steps have been taken to implement safety precautions,” Orangeburg Director of Public Safety Charles Austin said.

Those precautions Austin says involve putting metal detectors in all Orangeburg County schools paid for by ESSER funds.

Right now school district spokesperson Merry Glenne Piccolino says some older models are being used along with handheld detectors until the other shipments arrive.

“It’s a sad situation that we’re here, but metal detectors are necessary and will play a big role in minimizing it.  Whether it will stop, I don’t know. I’m not sure that any of us know, but it’s a huge step to put into place,” Austin said.

According to some parents of students who attend Orangeburg-Wilkinson, they said they want metal detectors.

“They should have been having metal detectors in schools because kids can slide in guns, knives, and all kinds of stuff,” says Tony Harrison.

Orangeburg County School District released a statement today saying, “Our hearts go out to the Oxford High School community following yesterday’s tragic event which claimed the lives of four and injured a number of others. Situations of that nature have a tremendous impact on educational systems. "

Piccolino says metal detectors do cause some backup lines, but it’s worth it to keep the students safe.

The school spokesperson said the faculty member who monitors the metal detectors will vary from school to school depending on who the school administration chooses.

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