Metal detectors installed, in use at Lexington high school

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Fayette County Schools are working on ways to make their classrooms safer. This week, some of their plans are going into action.

For the first time this week, students at Frederick Douglass High School were greeted by fixed metal detectors on their way to class.

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Monday morning, the detectors weren’t on. Still, students went through them, giving staff their bags and any metal items like jewelry or their phone, as a sort of practice run.

Frederick Douglass is the first Lexington high school to use the detectors.

The district says that’s because, as the newest school, it’s the most ideal and will give it a chance to work out any issues before putting them in other schools. But, why did the district wait until the last few weeks of class to install them?

“One, because that’s when the metal detectors come in, but two, it kind of gives us an idea of things we need to plan for for the 18-19 school year,” said Randy Peffer with the district.

Students we talked to don’t mind the change, saying the process seems fairly easy. Some say the extra time it will take in the morning is worth the extra security the process provides.

“It’s nice to know that there is a safeguard here that can prevent certain things from entering our school and make the student body feel safer here,” said sophomore Grace Phelps.

The district’s Safety Advisory Council also unveiled some of its other safety recommendations for schools. Those include adding more councilors, social workers or school psychologists, and having more social media monitoring.

Superintendent Manny Caulk says the recommendations provided by the council, with community support, will increase safety both in and out of the classroom.

“This is something that we can all get behind because we know that these recommendations will have a clear through line to improving the safety of our children at school, in the community and at home,” said Superintendent Caulk.

On Tuesday morning, the metal detectors inside Frederick Douglass’ doors will be fully operational.

At the end of the school year, the district says it will use the example this school sets to decide whether or not they’ll install them in more schools, or if they’ll be used at all, next year.

The council also made recommendations for lawmakers, families, students and the community. For a full list of council recommendations, click here.