(Memphis) Superintendent Dorsey Hopson said he wants to up security in Shelby County Elementary Schools, whatever the cost, after a 5-year-old was able to get into school with a loaded gun.
Starting Monday, security wands are available to all SCS elementary schools.
Some parents believe wanding children for weapons in elementary school is too extreme and make it more like a prison than a school.
Others claim it’s a sign of the times, here in one of the most dangerous cities in America, and you must take drastic measures to keep kids safe.
“Everyday something here in Memphis is happening with a gun!” said parent Katherine Harris.
Harris is worried after last week’s incident where a 5-year-old brought a gun to school and it discharged. It's changed the way she feels about taking her sons to school.
“Before they said ‘Oh, the teachers are out here, let them out and let them go in,’ but nah ah I go in with my kids now and make sure they get to their teacher then I leave,” said Harris.
Superintendent Dorsey Hopson said Friday the district is gathering security wands to make sure they are available to all elementary schools so a student doesn’t get in with a gun again.
“I’m not sure exactly what the cost will be, but it doesn’t matter. I think the cost is nominal when you’re talking about safety and the lives of the students,” said Hopson in a press conference Friday.
Shelby commissioners fund the district.
Commissioner Wyatt Bunker is also head of security at Baptist Hospital and said buying wands should cost the district less than a few hundred grand, and the commission wouldn't have to approve extra money.
“Wands would be such a low-cost you probably wouldn’t have to come before the commission they probably have that built into their budget,” said Bunker.
SCS says it is working out the details of how the security plan will actually work, but this is one of the most important issues that should have been settled before the largest merger in US history.
Before last week’s incident, wands and metal detectors were only in schools that saw a lot of incidents, but now wands are available to all schools.