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The Rider Online | Legacy HS Student Media

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School Board Adopts Walk-Through Weapons Detection System

The system, approved by the Board of Trustees in August, will start active scanning Wednesday, Oct. 25
The+Evolv+Express+weapons+detection+system+does+not+require+students%2C+staff%2C+or+parents%2C+to+stop+or+slow+down+when+entering+the+building.+The+system+was+installed+Oct.+18%2C+and+will+begin+scanning+Oct.+25.
Photo by Arlo De Vera
The Evolv Express weapons detection system does not require students, staff, or parents, to stop or slow down when entering the building. The system was installed Oct. 18, and will begin scanning Oct. 25.

After the rise of school safety concerns, the Mansfield ISD school board approved the adoption and installation of the Evolv Express weapons detectors in August. Installed on Oct. 18, the system will be active on Wednesday, Oct. 25. 

Legacy is the fifth high school to go live with the new security system. Dr. Stephanie Bonneau, principal, believes the kinks have been worked out at the other high schools. 

“I think that it’s going to run smoothly,” Dr. Bonneau said. “It will help the campus feel safer.”

The system is a weapon detector that scans for the density and shape of metals. It is AI-generated, using electromagnetic fields and sensors to detect weapons. Students will be required to take out Chromebooks and pass them around the system to avoid setting off alerts.

“As soon as students learn that taking their Chromebooks out on the bus or in the car [will help], then this goes faster,” Dr. Bonneau said. “The faster we learn that the faster we’ll get through the machine.”

There will be three machines available, one at the front entrance and two at the cafeteria entrance. The main entrance systems will be on and unmanned at all times while the back cafeteria doors will only be on during student arrival. Students will not be able to enter through any other door. 

“For people who get here between 6:45-7, they’re not going to see a huge difference,” Dr. Bonneau said. “You’ll be in a line for a minute right at the beginning because you have to enter in a single file.”

The system is designed to create a safer environment at schools. There is a monitor on the front that has a picture of the person with a box over whatever it may detect. The punishment for any student caught with a weapon will follow the Mansfield ISD Student Code of Conduct.

“We’ve taken steps in the last two years toward making the campus more safe. We have badges the teachers wear,” Dr. Bonneau said. “One of the things that is a challenge though is then, especially in light of school shootings that happen in different places, is how to make sure we have a weapon-free environment, which is what we should have here.”

There’s a part of me that wishes it wasn’t needed. But anything we can do that helps to create an environment that relieves tension and stress for our teachers, our staff, and our students is a good thing and that’s what this should do.

— Dr. Stephanie Bonneau, principal

Senior Raylee Mallett takes AP Psychology at Mansfield High School first period. Since MHS’s systems were installed earlier in October, Mallett experienced the system firsthand. She believes the biggest problem is the wait in line, but that given time, it will be worth the few extra seconds spent being scanned when entering the building.

“I am glad for the scanners because I know that every single person who comes in the building will be scanned and that gives me a sense of security when I am at school,” Mallett said. “So even though the process is slow now, it will speed up after a few weeks. Overall, I’m happy we have them.”

The system, unlike many metal detectors, does not require students to stop when passing through. In many cases, the system can scan up to 4,000 people per hour, at almost one person per second. 

“There’s a part of me that wishes it wasn’t needed,” Dr. Bonneau said. “But anything we can do that helps to create an environment that relieves tension and stress for our teachers, our staff, and our students is a good thing and that’s what this should do.”

About the Contributors
Kati Waguespack
Kati Waguespack, Features Editor
Being a writer keeps me in great physical shape. I'm always running out of ideas.
Arlo De Vera
Arlo De Vera, Staff Photographer
If a girl unsure I can let you know, I stick to the point like a decimal.
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