Oxford schools discuss weapons detection system, other security options in parents-only meeting

Oxford schools held another meeting about potential security upgrades to educational facilities for the upcoming school year Monday night. The district has held periodic meetings with parents about how to ensure students are safe when classes return.

Among the parents that attended the school meeting was Lori Bourgeau who was cautiously optimistic about the district's progress.

"I am satisfied to hear they are continuing with changes, things that we as parents have been asking for. We still have a ways to go on some things," she said. 

Bourgeau said discussions focused on a weapons detection system and a metal detector that's less invasive. Both are technologies the district has floated as potential safeguards to be implemented in the wake of the mass shooting that left four students dead and several others injured.

"They talked about the Zero Eyes that they are putting in, that’s a weapon detection. They talked about Evolve which is kind of like a metal detector in a way without being as invasive," said Bourgeau.

"I think we are making progress, but we are not quite there," said Andrea Jones, another parent whose kids attend the district. "The thing I would like to address a little bit more is our threat assessment policies and really delve into what those are, how we are implementing those and what changes we can make moving forward that make everybody feel comfortable."

Oxford schools' beefed up security system will be installed by the time students return to class this year. 

The biometric scanners going in will be capable of detecting weapons inside a student's backpack. A private security firm will also be contracted at the building. 

The meeting is one of many held between the district and parents since the Nov. 30 shooting. While previous townhalls have featured angry parents calling for transparency, Bourgeau said she was much happier about the board member's intention to get input from students. 

"I think the thing that made me the happiest was there’s just a talk about whether they are going to use lockers again or not and the answer was we’ll poll our students and see what they say, and that to me was the most important thing and the best thing they could have said to us, which is the kids are the ones who should be the lead on this," she said. 

More coverage: