Valley News -

Bill to make metal detectors available at schools clears committee


Last updated 8/16/2018 at 2:26am

RIVERSIDE – A Riverside County lawmaker’s proposal for a pilot project to install metal detectors in schools countywide to bolster security, using a mix of private and public funds, cleared its first legislative hurdle.

Sen. Jeff Stone, R-La Quinta, said he conceived Senate Bill 1443 after speaking with parents who expressed a desire “to ensure that when their kids go to school ... they are going into an environment where there are no weapons.”

“If this program saves one life, I think it has accomplished its goal,” Stone said.

The bill received majority support from members of the Senate Education Committee and is now bound for the Senate Appropriations Committee, where it will be further vetted.

Under the proposal, the Riverside County Office of Education would be eligible to receive a $100,000 grant from the state general fund – if the agency raised nine times that sum in private donations specifically dedicated to purchasing and installing metal detectors in some or all K-12 schools in the county.

Stone has not said how the $900,000 in private donations may be raised in the six-year timeline proposed under SB-1443.

“Keeping our kids safe in school is paramount,” the senator said in an introduction to the bill. “One such way would be to install metal detectors in schools.”

According to the proposed legislation, the California Department of Education would be tasked with monitoring how the pilot project is implemented and whether it might warrant expansion to all school districts throughout the state.

According to a nonpartisan analysis by Senate Education Committee staff, school districts currently have the discretion to purchase metal detectors and other security gear, but there is no designated grant program in place.

Analysts said that the Los Angeles Unified School District utilizes metal screening at some of its facilities.


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