First day of using metal detectors at Perth Amboy HS sees long delays getting inside
Monday was the first day that Perth Amboy High School used its new metal detectors – causing a long backup of students and staff members.
News 12 New Jersey was told that it took more than an hour to get inside. But the intention of having safer schools seems to be exactly what everyone wanted.
“It was just a big line. Like a huge line, like mad long,” says student Anahi Lopez. “I went and got breakfast.”
Along with the metal detectors, the school board has brought in more security, will be updating surveillance cameras and performing bag checks.
There was an outcry for security upgrades after an 11-year-old from Shull Middle School was stabbed on his way home from school. Smailyn Jimenez was allegedly stabbed by another classmate while walking along Johnstone Street.
This incident prompted students and parents to voice their concerns about bullying, violence and fights at the schools.
“I think it’s a good thing. I know it’s going to be difficult, but you can’t have kids with weapons in school,” says Pat Paradiso, president of the Perth Amboy Federation of Teachers.
Paradiso says that the union is fully on board with metal detectors in the school and is happy to hear that aids will now be stationed at bathrooms.
“We knew there were weapons in the school because the teachers were telling us,” Paradiso says. “Teachers had found knives in the kids’ bookbags and stuff.”
The district has previously been using security wands on students to search for weapons.
News 12 has reached out to the district to find out what improvements will be made to get students and staff inside the school more quickly going forward and are waiting to hear back.