When Cole Middle School students return Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday, they’ll no longer be able to breeze through the front door. The West Oakland school has decided to adopt baggage inspections and metal detection “wanding” on a trial basis in response to an incident last week in which a gun fired in a classroom, hitting a radiator.
Here is a letter that went out to Cole families about the new safety precautions.
Such security measures are rare in Oakland, with the exception of some of the district’s alternative schools — and, more recently, sporting events. But OUSD might eventually adopt those precautions at other schools as well, said district spokesman Troy Flint.
“That’s definitely something we’re considering,” Flint told me today. “The success or failure of this initiative will probably have an impact on whether we expand this program.”
Should OUSD take these measures, or could they backfire? Should it be determined on a school-by-school basis, or by the central administration — or both? There must be a reason that most OUSD schools have remained metal detector-free thus far. Is it time to reconsider?