Are Metal Detectors Right for Your School? Here are a Few Pros and Cons to Consider.

We recently announced that we are now offering physical security solutions for schools and school systems, as well as the same top-quality digital security we have offered from the beginning.

As we spoke about in our recent blog, physical security at K-12 Schools and Institutions of Higher learning is something that schools are having to embrace, as seen with the recent legislation calling for the required use of metal detectors in South Carolina Schools in Bill H.3218, which is now in committee.

With or without this legislation, physical security is a growing concern for schools. If you want more information or are trying to decide if your school or school system could benefit from metal detectors, we’re here to help you through that process.

Does My School Need Metal Detectors?

As we briefly mentioned, there is legislation currently in committee surrounding physical security in South Carolina Schools for example: Bill H.3218. It proposes that, “Beginning with the 2020-2021 School Year, walk-through metal detectors must be installed and operated at all public entrances of each public elementary school, middle school, high school, and institution of higher learning in the State.”

Most likely, soon all public schools will be required to have metal detectors, so the question isn’t so much about whether your school needs them, but rather when it will need them.

What Are The Pros and Cons of Metal Detectors in Schools?

Placing metal detectors in schools has been a controversial discussion, and there are a lot of things to think about before making the decision to purchase them. Here’s a rundown of some of the pros and cons:


  1. Weapon Confiscation – The first benefit is probably the most obvious one— the ability to detect and confiscate weapons from anyone entering the building.
  2. Deterrence – Confiscation isn’t the only major benefit of metal detectors. According to experts, just the presence of the machines alone is often enough to prevent someone from entering or even thinking of entering the building with a weapon. And this is especially true for the students and staff walk through the machines on a regular basis.


  1. The Large Expense – Probably the biggest con in the eyes of many is that the addition of metal detectors to every school in S.C. will have a huge fiscal impact. In fact, according to a statement from the South Carolina Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office, “The non-recurring cost to install three walk-through metal detectors at each of 1,200 schools is $14,400,000. However, more may be required due to unique configurations at individual schools. If the metal detectors can be staffed with existing personnel, there will be no recurring impact. If the metal detectors require dedicated staffing, using assumptions similar to those used for state agencies, the recurring cost to school districts could be $98,277,000 or more.”
  2. Implementation – At the end of the day, metal detectors are only effective if properly implemented and monitored. Even the most well-run metal detector system isn’t 100% foolproof. Basically, they’re only as good as the person running them. Experts argue that schools are very unlikely to be able to operate a 24/7 metal detector program. As mentioned above, it would require an enormous amount of money and manpower to continually properly implement the use of metal detectors in schools. And if these metal detectors can’t be monitored all the time by trained professionals, they will be rendered useless and the initial expense to taxpayers will have been a huge waste.

How Does Partnering with ANC Group Help?

Every school is different and has different needs. ANC Group is here to help. Contact us today with any questions or concerns you have!