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  • Fellow Editors

Wicomico County BOE Votes to Purchase a Weapons Detection System That Won't Be Used in Schools

On May 7, 2024, the Wicomico County Board of Education voted to approve the purchase of a high-tech weapons and contraband detection system for the district. They approved the purchase of 11 portable systems at $16,900 per unit, for a total of $186,000 as presented at their April 30th work session. When we saw this on the board meeting agenda, we were excited to see what seemed to be a common sense move by the board toward improving safety in our schools. But not so fast.

Upon investigation, the units will not be used daily in schools, but limited for use at larger public venues such as events at the stadium, basketball games, and performances. When an event is not taking place, the units can be found stored in a dark closet instead of the entryway of a school building.

If these weapons detection systems are only going to be used at after-school venues, then why do they need 11 units if it's a "controlled environment" where there's only one entrance?

Is a school NOT a controlled environment, even though it has ONE main entrance into the school building?

The real answer to these questions is beyond concerning.

Metrasense weapons/contraband detection system

Where is the common sense of our elected board? If you hear the excuse that they don't have the funds to install these at every school, that's not the issue. The issue of concern is based upon practical priorities, application, maximum utilization, and use of taxpayer dollars.

Are these units great to have at public after-school venues? Absolutely. But our schools are dangerous and our children are sitting ducks.

Why can't these 11 units be utilized starting with the entryways of high schools and middle schools? Instead, the board rubber stamped the purchase without regard to practical school safety during school hours while the children are there to learn and teachers are there to teach.

Please contact the board members and ask them to prioritize the safety of our schools by utilizing these systems at school entryways, even if it's a limited number of schools to start. Securing school buildings during school hours should come before entertainment events outside of education.

To contact them individually by phone:

WCBOE Board Members 

Gene Malone, Chair (District 2) - (443) 783-5530  

Allen Brown, Vice Chair (District 1) - (410) 742-9668  

Kristin Hazel (At Large) - (443) 366-4344

Bonnie Ennis (At Large)- (443) 783-1617  

Susan Beauchamp (District 3) - (443) 235-2569  

David Plotts (District 4) - (443) 880-0502

John Palmer (District 5) - (410) 896-3670

Fellows & Editors

May 16, 2024 

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