MCPSS: No significant changes in school security in decades

Metal detectors, resource officers, security cameras in place

Vigor High School in Prichard, Ala.
Vigor High School in Prichard, Ala.

UPDATE 8/28, 8:30 am. - School system officials clarified Thursday morning that while some changes have been made to protect students in schools, use of metal detectors are left to the discretion of the principal and schools still don’t have fixed metal detectors.

PRICHARD, Ala. (WALA) - The gun incident at Vigor High School Wednesday have parents and school officials thinking about the safety of students on campus.

FOX10 News has discovered despite a number of deadly shootings at schools across the country in recent years, there haven’t been any significant changes in security measures in the Mobile County Public School System to deal with weapons for decades.

FOX10 News talked with Public Information Spokesperson Nancy Pierce who outlined the security measures for the county’s 11 public high schools.

Pierce said each school is assigned one resource officer. The resource officer at Vigor was not on campus during the incident Wednesday morning. He was scheduled to be off this week.

However, Pierce said even if he had been working there’s a good possibility he may have been at another school. There are only 12 resource officers for all 90 schools in the county.

None of the schools have fixed metal detectors. They all have hand-held wand detectors, however, there is no schedule for when they’re used. That’s up to the discretion of the principal. In fact, Pierce said the only significant change in security she was aware of happened nine years ago when resource officers were barred from carrying firearms in the schools.

A bill that would have armed resource officers failed to get through the 2013 legislative session.

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