Metal detectors, new safety measures coming to Volusia County schools

Metal detectors will be used as events such as games, dances

School leaders in Volusia County want to put more safety measures in place throughout the district, including metal detectors for high school events. It comes after a big scare at Mainland High School in Daytona Beach three weeks ago where police say a group of students played a prank by starting a rumor that someone had a gun.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – School leaders in Volusia County want to put more safety measures in place throughout the district, including metal detectors for high school events.

It comes after a big scare at Mainland High School in Daytona Beach three weeks ago where police say a group of students played a prank by starting a rumor that someone had a gun.

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District spokesman Angel Gomez said the school board had been discussing getting metal detectors for the schools for a while but said the situation at Mainland reinforced the need for them and other safety improvements across the district.

“The schools are being assigned three. Each one of the high schools. They will be stored somewhere in the building, and they will be used as needed,” he said.

Gomez said the $90,000 purchase will go up for approval at the board meeting next week. He said the metal detectors the district is ordering won’t be used for everyday entry to the schools but will be used for events like sports and dances.

“There will be a single point of entry for those where everyone will come in through there and as part of their safety check they’ll also be going through a metal detector,” he said.

The district is beefing up other security too following what police call the student-coordinated “cruel prank” at Mainland two weeks ago. Daytona Beach police said students started the rumor there was a gun, causing a panic alarm to be pressed and the entire school evacuated. Police said those students will face felony charges.

On Wednesday, investigators said they was going through cell phone forensics and sending other evidence to the FDLE to process.

“This is ridiculous. Even if it’s a prank it’s totally ridiculous,” said Mainland parent, Marsha Peterzell.

Parents News 6 talked to, like Peterzell, are in full support of the extra security with metal detectors.

“I think they should. I think they should use them for everyday use at the high schools,” she said.

Right now, Gomez said students have single entry points into schools and they use a metal detecting wand when they walk in.

He said after the Mainland scare, they are now doing security sweeps at each school in the district and they’re also starting a district-wide one-week campaign on Thursday that reinforces what will get a student in trouble.

“It’s going to be held in every school at the same time every morning and we have prepared messaging that goes out to the kids every day,” he said.

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Molly joined News 6 at the start of 2021, returning home to Central Florida.