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Fayette Co. school board discusses installing fixed metal detectors

Superintendent Manny Caulk called for changes in policies asking the school board Monday night to clear the way for random use of metal detector wands and the installation of fixed metal detectors at Frederick Douglass, the county's newest school that has limited entrances.

FAYETTE COUNTY, Ky. - Recent incidents involving guns at school and threats have prompted the Fayette County Board of Education to consider installing fixed metal detectors at schools.

On Friday, a student accidentally shot himself at Frederick Douglass High School injuring his hand.

Superintendent Manny Caulk called for changes in policies asking the school board Monday night to clear the way for random use of metal detector wands and the installation of fixed metal detectors at Frederick Douglass, the county's newest school that has limited entrances.

"We have six high schools - comprehensive high schools - we also have 31 secondary schools, so we are starting with Frederick Douglass," Caulk said. "This is the first. I'm sure it won't be the last, but it gives an opportunity ... since this is uncharted territory ... for us to get it right."

Caulk said eventually, they would possibly expand the use of fixed metal detectors to more high schools and middle schools.

Terri Collins was one of few community members who attended the meeting Monday night. Collins is the mother of a Fayette County teacher and Lexington police officer.

"I never thought I would see a day where I would be as fearful for my daughter teaching third grade as I am for my son being a police officer," she said.

Collins said she thinks metal detectors are a good idea, but the community must step up to support these enhanced safety measures.

"Get the companies, the attorneys, the real estate - everyone in town to say, we care about the kids in Fayette County. We will donate a door, we will donate to a school, we will cover it," Collins said.

The school board needs additional readings on the issue of metal detectors before they can take action. They said it could be the end of the month before they vote.

On Tuesday, school officials plan to meet with a firm that specializes in the installation of metal detectors to find out what all would it would take to have them up and running.

There is no word yet on how much the fixed metal detectors would cost.

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