Aiken School Officials Announce Strengthened Security Measures
In the wake of a brawl at Aiken High School on August 3 that resulted in one student getting stabbed in the leg, Aiken County school officials have announced strengthened security measures that are being put in place at all schools in the district, as well as athletic events.
Trustees met in Executive Session Tuesday, looking at detailed options for increased security and discussing specific safety protocols and procedures.
Students at all middle and high schools in Aiken County can now expect Weapons Detection Units that will be unannounced and may take place at an entrance, during a class change, class period or other location within the school. Weapons Detection Units will be used at elementary schools, primarily to screen visitors when they enter.
A statement from the Aiken County Public School District says:
“In preparation for more frequent Weapons Detection, middle and high school students are asked to refrain from bringing in stainless steel water bottles, metal utensils from home, and scissors. Large metal objects result in positive detection and necessitate a search. As secondary students return from Fall Break in mid-October for second quarter, the restriction of these items will be mandatory. Alternatives to notebooks with metal binders are being explored as well. The Board and Administration will continue to monitor and may consider additional restrictions in the future, if necessary.
Additional safeguards that will be in place at Aiken High School include the presence of an additional School Resource Officer on campus each day. Additional fencing will be added to secure the perimeter of the campus and eliminate entry and exit by way of classroom wings. “
School officials also say Aiken High School has created a third lunch period and reassigned students in smaller numbers to the cafeteria to increase staff-to-student ratios in common spaces.
As far as athletic events are concerned, Aiken Public School officials said:
“With the start of the fall athletic season, please be reminded of our District-wide clear bag policy for athletic events. Small clutch purses and seat cushions 16″ or smaller are also permitted inside our athletic facilities. All persons and belongings are subject to search. Reentry will not be allowed. All students attending a school-sponsored event who are eighth grade and below must be accompanied by an adult 21 years of age or older and must remain with a supervising adult throughout the entirety of their time at an event. High school student attendees must present a school or government ID or be prepared to show their PowerSchool information on their phone for entry without a supervising adult.”
For more information on Aiken County Public Schools policies or other information, visit www.acpsd.net.