Marion County increasing security measures in schools

Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 4:47 PM EST
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FAIRMONT, W.Va (WDTV) - For months, Marion County has been working to increase school security. The district is the latest in our area to add metal detectors.

North Marion is the first school in Marion County to test out metal detectors. Earlier this week, the detectors were used for a North Marion High School basketball game.

They were donated by the Marion County Commission. Students and staff have been trained on them and the district has worked with local law enforcement and homeland security to roll the detectors out.

Superintendent Donna Heston said there are both good and bad that come with the new technology.

“We did have some strengths and weaknesses to it. As with any new technology you would integrate into the schools, there are positives and weaknesses.”

One of the big issues officials have seen is vaping devices being brought into the schools. The hope is with the metal detectors, they can eliminate that.

The idea was even brought up by students.

“The thought of using metal detectors came out of a Student Summit that I host in Marion County. During that discussion, when we were talking about what would deter students from bringing vapes into schools, it was actually a student recommendation to explore metal detectors.”

The plan is to ultimately use the metal detectors at the entrances of all Marion County High Schools. They may also be used for athletic events.

Marion County is also exploring facial recognition software as part of its school security improvements.