BROCKTON (CBS) – Brockton High School students had a long wait in the rain Monday to start their day, now that they have to go by metal detectors when they arrive for classes.
It’s one of several additional safety measures that started Monday after some concerning incidents at the school in the last month. In one case, a student was arrested for bringing a gun to school on October 8 and in another, a threatening social media post prompted a “stay in place” order last Friday.
As a consequence of a new security plan developed with police over the weekend, students and visitors all now have to pass by metal detectors on their way into their designated buildings.
All bags will be placed under a search and students can now only carry bags the size of their laptops or smaller. They will not be allowed to take backpacks or duffel bags around from class to class.
If those are needed for specific reasons, they’ll have to be dropped off at designated locations. The same goes for larger bags needed for sports or to transport music instruments.
Many students were seen walking with their books and binders in hand Monday. Some parents told WBZ-TV they’re upset about the late notice on the backpack change, sent out in an automated call Sunday evening.
“Every day is something new. You get a phone call every day. I don’t know what’s going on honestly,” said parent Lenise Ferzinanz. “Metal detector is fine, but the backpack I think is overacting.”
Lines were long getting into school as students were forced to wait in the rain as everyone passed by the security checks. Ayla Santos dropped off her daughter as students began lining up in the rain before 7 a.m. Some were nevertheless outside hours later.
“I went to Brockton High,” Santos said. “I lived in Brockton my whole life, so for me, this is absolutely bonkers. I’ve never experienced this, ever.”
“I get the metal detectors. I don’t understand why they’re punishing the students that aren’t doing anything wrong. So now my daughter has to carry a purse and a backpack as an athlete and hope they don’t steal her bag, that she doesn’t lose anything. And that she doesn’t get back problems,” she told WBZ-TV.
“For me to be getting these phone calls and have to regularly worry about where she is, our school, our district is better than that. We have done better than that and I do believe we can do better than that. It’s just that they’re acting out of fear right now instead of acting out of how best can we serve the children that we have in here in a way that’s not going to traumatize them at the end of the day.”
“It pains me that these new measures are necessary, however after consulting staff, students and families we feel that this is what is needed to make our community feel safe,” Principal Cynthia Burns said in a statement.
“Right now, we need every good idea to be brought to the table. I look forward to hearing from our parents and guardians later this week at a meeting I am planning.”
“We want to thank our student population for their incredible patience this morning as the high school rolled out its new safety measures. As with any new course of action, we will get better and more efficient every day,” said Brockton Public Schools spokesperson Jess Silva-Hodges.
“We’d like to remind our students that rain is in the forecast this week and that they should be prepared with weather-appropriate attire. Principal Burns and her leadership team are actively reviewing this morning’s roll-out and identifying ways to speed up the time of action. Families should expect a follow-up message from the high school later today.”
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