Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools is planning to add more metal detectors in middle and high schools. It's part of a state grant that focuses on helping public schools with security improvements.

The district announced this week that it was awarded more than $322,000 through the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction's Center for Safer Schools Grant.

Most of that money will be spent on equipment. It will fund two walkthrough metal detectors for each middle and high school. After a fatal shooting at Mount Tabor High School last September, the district increased the number of hand wands in several schools. More of them will also be included in the plan.  

Brent Cooke is director of security technologies with the district. He says the new metal detectors will give schools more flexibility and are intended for use on an as-needed basis.

“These are portable walk-through metal detectors. They are not installed metal detectors. They are on wheels. They have batteries that last up to eight hours once they are charged up," says Cooke. "Our vision for these was to be used at athletic events, special events, special circumstances, anywhere the school may feel they need that enhanced security.” 

Superintendent Tricia McManus says the district will be clear on what the protocols are for using them, what the intended uses are, and provide training for staff before any new equipment is rolled out in schools.

The grant money will also be used to purchase additional automated external defibrillators or AEDs. Currently, every school has at least one.

School safety training with first responders and staff is also included in the grant proposal.

Follow WFDD's Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

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