Detroit Public Schools leader talks safety after Florida shooting

Here at Detroit School of Arts, getting into the school takes a minute. Guards, some armed, are at the schools. The district has its own police department, too, ready for anything. 

In the wake of the Parkland Florida school shooting some at asking why all schools don't have this model. Sure, it helps keep the bad guys out, but it can have its downside, too. 

Before there was a police department within the school, fights would happen and the school dealt with that through suspension or detention. Nowadays, though, often those fights lead to an arrest for an assault or battery.

That's a criticism, that the school is creating a pipeline to prison," says Dr. Nikolai Vitti, superintendent of Detroit Public Schools Community District. He worked in Florida as an assistant superintendent, and the head boss of a district there. He knows people in Parkland, Fla. and the Valentine's Day shooting has weighed heavy on his heart. 

What's the solution? How do you keep guns out of schools? DPSCD has a system in place they hope will prevent that from ever happening here.  

"If you intend to do harm, you have to go through that main entrance and at least you're screened. You have to go through a metal detector; you've got to have your drivers license or form of identification and so that just creates a checks and balances," he says. "A lot of districts don't have the resources to provide that."

Many suburban schools districts have been hearing from parents. Urban districts like Detroit have armed security, leading parents to ask if all districts should have them. Air Marshals in the sky on planes, why not armed security on the ground on school?

Dr. Vitti doesn't think, though, that suburban school districts should look towards DPSCD as a model of security. 

"A lot of the violence in crime that occurs in a greater community often spills into schools, whether it's through our individual students or parents. So, there's a need to have that kind of personnel day-to-day in the school system," he says.