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21 Michiana school districts to get metal detectors come August

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- “I think people probably won’t like it at first but if they get used to it, they might not care as much,” Marcelina Gaspar, a Junior at Riley High School in South Bend.

Gaspar is among the thousands of students across Michiana who may have to be scanned by a hand held metal detector every morning before class come August. Having seen the news about recent school shootings across the country, she says it might be time.

“I think it’s crazy how they think it’s ok to bring guns to school where there’s people who didn’t even do anything. Especially with guns! They shoot wherever they want because they’re mad or whatever they are,” said Gaspar.

The safety move comes from Governor Eric Holcomb who offered the free devices to any public or private schools in the wake of the shooting at West Noblesville Middle School back in May. So far, the state’s gotten 3,228 metal detector requests.

344 of those requests were made by 21 different Michiana school districts including South Bend schools, Elkhart schools, and Penn-Harris-Madison among others.

The South Bend Community School Corporation released a statement Tuesday about the move:

“South Bend Schools plans to fully take advantage of Governor Eric Holcomb's metal detector program, and placed an order for 50 metal detectors. We are committed to ensuring safety for all of our students and staff, and this program will help facilitate that. We are looking forward to continuing the dialogue we started at our “Let’s Talk” safety meeting earlier this year, and how we can best utilize this new resource.”

Denise Dixon and Aisha Chester, the grandmother and mother of South Bend students, say they both feel better knowing their loved ones should be safe heading into the new school year.

“It’s a real scary thought to know I’m sending my child to school, it could be guns, knives brought in. It’s just a really scary thought,” said Chester.

“They should have them! Because if they know what the student’s bringing in the school, it wouldn’t happen, and I think they should have them because a lot of students are scared. School is meant to go to learn,” said Dixon.

Aisha’s daughter, Nyeshia says it could take some getting used to but it’s part of today’s reality for students.

“It’ll probably feel a little uncomfortable but then I’ll feel like I’m safe,” said Nyisha Gindelberger, a 6TH grader at Jefferson Intermediate. “I hear kids at school they say ‘Oh I’m going to bring a gun tomorrow because this dude keeps on messing with me’ and like.. this stuff is just crazy, they should do something more safe and stuff.”

The state is making one handheld metal detector available per 250 students in a school building. Schools that are interested but haven’t placed an order will have another opportunity this fall.

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