Laurel County Superintendent explains metal detector decision


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- A letter today from the Laurel County Schools’ superintendent says the district is saying no to a metal detector donation, for now.

He says detectors could be an option for the future, but first, the district must make sure they won’t do harm.

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That letter came after a protest Wednesday morning outside the Board of Education.

“Let’s keep our schools safe,” protesters chanted.

Protesters say they want the funds pledged for metal detectors used for school safety in some effective way.

Between the end of last week and beginning of this one, a Corbin attorney pledged money and started a fundraising effort to buy detectors for Whitley, Knox, and Laurel schools.

In the Superintendent’s letter to parents he says there are several issues to work out before getting detectors. He says, for example, it could take hours to properly get students though detectors, meaning they’ll be grouped together outside, forming an easy target. He also says there’s no staff or plan in place, which metal detectors require.

Superintendent Doug Bennett instead asks donations be spent on more school resource officers.

Some parents say it was comforting to hear his reasoning, but they still think many of those problems are easily fixed.

“Those are all valid points, but at the same time I’d want him to know my husband and I don’t have room in our budget to bury a child,” Jannessa Patterson said.

Patterson says many people in the district are thinking of homeschooling. She says her family has told her maybe she should consider it too.


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Veronica Jean Seltzer joins ABC 36 as Anchor/Reporter. On most weekdays, you will see her reporting the news. VJ hails from a small horse farm outside New York City and most recently comes from South Bend, Indiana where she reported for the CBS and Fox affiliates. VJ holds a Master of Science in Journalism degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University. Her passion for journalism runs deep. It began as she studied graffiti as an ancient form of communication in Athens, Greece. While a student journalist in Morocco, she learned her most important journalistic lesson: good stories are about people. VJ loves life in and around Lexington. She feels most at home among horses and a diverse community of fascinating people. She enjoys reporting during the week and on the weekend she strives to bring her neighbors the news that matters most to them. VJ enjoys going to neighborhood events, exploring, horseback riding, skiing, sailing, and good movies. Look for her out and about in the community! VJ invites you to reach out to her with story ideas or just to say hello! Find her on Facebook at Veronica Jean Seltzer ABC 36, tweet her @VJS_ABC36, or email her at She looks forward to hearing from you!