Local school officials announced the addition of weapons detection systems to seven schools across Orlando in an effort to identify contraband items before they enter school property.
Orange County Public School officials will begin full implementation of the new detection systems on Monday, December 18. The seven high schools selected for participation in the pilot program are Wekiva, Boone, Horizon, Lake Nona, Evans, Timber Creek, and Jones.
According to officials, the schools will begin using the detection system in phases from January through March.
“Parents and guardians have been informed and will get specific information from their principal as to the exact date that their school will begin the walk-through weapon detection screenings,” reads the statement from OCPS.
The district says the new system resembles units that are often seen at theme parks, stadiums, and in government buildings. The technology, OPENGATE, provides a walk-through weapons detection system designed for the automatic screening of people with backpacks and bags.
All students and visitors will be subject to screening upon entering campus at the start of the school day, or at any point throughout regular school hours. Visitors will also walk-through the weapon detection system as they enter campus at the main office.
Before students pass through the OPENGATE system, they will be required to remove their laptop computers from their backpacks.
“If OPENGATE detects any contraband items, a secondary screening or search will be conducted. Contraband found during the secondary screening or search will be confiscated and could lead to school discipline and/or legal consequences,” reads the statement.
For more information on this and other programs by the district, visit Orange County Public Schools online.