‘It’s a different era’: Students, staff in Massillon welcome added security

MASSILLON, Ohio - In an effort to prevent any tragedies the likes of what schools across the nation have experienced, Massillon City Schools installed a metal detector at its high school with plans to eventually install another one at the district's middle school.

Massillon Washington High School already has a multi-tiered security system.

Visitors have to be buzzed into the building where they have to stop inside a new double door area, present an I.D. which is used to do a background check before a visitor pass is issued.
There are cameras and two resource officers at the school.

The metal detector is something the district says will add not only another layer of security but also give students, their parents, and the district's teachers and administrators additional peace of mind.

"It's a different era, you know? What are the intentions of individuals that are coming in the building? What are the intentions of our students attending our school building? So, it's a different time period in which our concerns and how we interact with our students and what we are requesting them to do," said Assistant Superintendent Mark Fortner.

The district is still working on a plan to most efficiently manage the flow of students through the metal detector.

But those students who spoke with FOX 8 say whatever inconvenience there may be is worth it for the added security.

"The first time I saw it I was kind of worried because I have my phone; I have metal in my bag, like, I might have to like leave some things at home and not bring them because it might set it off," said Cameron Sunkle.

"I think it's a good thing. I mean, it's not really a bother to any of the students because we just walk right through," said Dean Clark.

Sunkle's mother is a chemistry teacher at the school and says the metal detector will help the building's faculty focus more on what they need to do for their classroom and less on external concerns.

"If nothing else, it's a deterrent. I mean, they know it's there; they know that the possibility of, you know, do you want to go through it, so I think if nothing else, it's a good promotion for our district as far as we are doing everything we possibly can," said Sherry Sunkle.

The district's school board recently made an additional $100,000 available for security measures, including the metal detectors.

"It's going to take a little bit of time 'til we get through the access and the time involved but we think it's the best thing for our students at this particular time and we are excited about that as we move forward," said Fortner.