Students glad scanners far less foreboding than metal detectors
MOUNT HEALTHY, Ohio —When students in Mt. Healthy walk through the front door of the junior/senior high school, signs are posted that make it clear cameras are keeping an eye on them.
But seniors Amayah Poston and Savannah Homa said some classmates carry weapons on campus, even though they know they shouldn’t.
“Some people do carry weapons to protect themselves after school, which is, like, a sad case,” Poston said.
“There’s a lot of kids who don’t know which way to go and weapons are the easiest thing they can get their hands on,” Homa said.
“They feel like they need protection. That’s what a kid will say,” Mt. Healthy Schools Superintendent Dr. Reva Cosby said.
Carrying a weapon for protection is a reason Cosby can’t tolerate, since her job is to keep every student safe.
“We used to (do) fisticuffs, you know? It’s like, ‘Uh oh, somebody’s going to have a fight this evening,’” Cosby said, talking about the way certain arguments used to be settled. “Now you don’t know that for sure. And so we have to do the best we can.”
Doing the best Mt. Healthy school officials can will soon involve a cutting-edge gun-detection system called PatScan.
Videos provided by Patriot One Technologies, the company behind the PatScan system, show how barely noticeable sensors can locate a gun and alert a school’s security team.
“If it’s hiding in their bag at the very bottom, even if it’s a small gun, it’s still going to be detected,” parent Kim Calai said.
Poston is happy there’s a way to scan for weapons without making students walk through traditional metal detectors.
“It’s not what we think it is. It’s not to make us seem like we’re in jail,” she said.
“That’s what brought it to our attention, was just the whole idea of getting a chance of having a way to keep your staff and students safe without them feeling like they were in a jail,” Cosby said.
Knowing weapons can be discovered quickly and quietly gives Calai and fellow parent Missie Mullins peace of mind.
“I am feeling very, much more comfortable knowing that there is a security system and plan for the district,” Mullins said.
“Our kids are unfortunately portrayed as bad all the time, but we have a great group of students here and if this is going to help that, absolutely,” Calai.
The PatScan will be installed just a few months after Mt. Healthy police filed charges against students for having a loaded gun, bringing bullets to school, threatening to shoot someone and leaving ammunition in a restroom.
Cosby said she and her colleagues learned of the PatScan system after the Cincinnati Reds announced they’re installing it at Great American Ball Park.