Discussion of adding metal detectors to RPS middle schools continue as safety worries loom

Posted at 11:21 PM, Mar 20, 2023

RICHMOND, Va. -- In an effort to protect students and staff, Richmond Public Schools Superintendent Jason Kamras is proposing putting metal detectors in the city's middle schools. The school board discussed the proposal at their Monday night meeting.

The proposal, which calls for walk-through and handheld metal detectors and additional care and safety associates, would come with a $1.3 million price tag.

Kamras proposed installing two metal detectors at Albert Hill and Binford Middle Schools, two at Boushall, Henderson, Lucille Brown and Martin Middle Schools and eight at River City Middle School.

There are already metal detectors installed in Richmond's six high schools.

Kamras said Monday night's discussion wasn't about action but about getting feedback from the board.

"It pains me that we're having this conversation. But I'm really listening. So I support this," Dawn Page, a member of the school board said.

This proposal comes after a gun was found on campus at Boushall Middle School amid other safety concerns Kamras said that he's heard from parents and staff.

"I will never support an initiative like this without deep community and student engagement. I want to hear student voices on this," board chair Stephanie Rizzi said.

Kamras said he doesn't want the school environment to feel hardened and that this isn't an absolute solution, but that the board needs to do everything they can to keep students and staff safe.

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