By Chariti McElveen & Riley Young
Western Family YMCA delegate, Nicole Neri, is presenting the ‘Metal Detectors in Schools Act’ at this year’s Youth in Government conference. This bill strives to ‘decrease the number of violent school incidents and promote safety in Delaware schools.’ This bill also ensures that all Delaware public schools be required to screen students, teachers, and visitors entering any Delaware public school building through a maximum of two doors, and no person be permitted to enter a school building without going through the necessary metal detector screening procedures. This bill greatly correlates to the current state of our country and the struggle Americans are facing to gain rightful gun regulations. However, how effective would this bill actually be once enacted?
When the ‘Metal Detectors in Schools Act’ was officially presented, a few delegates argued against the enactment of the bill because of concerns of efficiency and loss of time in the morning. The same ‘con’ delegates argued that students might not have enough time to get to class. As well as this, a crowd of students gathering in the morning for a metal detector screening could be the perfect opportunity for a shooter who has not yet been screened to open fire. Furthermore, a frantic crowd at the entrance of a school building could cause increased chaos and a possible fire hazard. Many agreed with the intent of the bill but felt that the only way to truly ensure more safety and decrease the number of school shootings in America is to enforce federal gun regulations.
In the end, this bill was denied primarily because delegates felt that students would be too uncomfortable being monitored every morning and such a routine procedure would resemble the procedures of a prison-like environment, causing students to feel contained. Delegates also felt the effective date being the 2023-2024 school year was too late to go into effect. Moreover, many did not agree with the fact that this bill does not apply to elementary school students because school shootings may also occur in an elementary school, and their safety should be accommodated for, just as secondary schools.
In conclusion, the intent of the ‘Metal Detectors in Schools Act’ is plausible. However, a few details of the bill also made it fairly questionable. Overall, author of the bill, Nicole Neri, presented an exceptional bill at the 2019 Youth in Government conference and we can’t wait to see what else she has to bring at next year’s conference!