Oxford schools to install weapons detection system, hire private security ahead of next school year

When Oxford district students return to school for the upcoming year, one of the first changes they'll see are the biometric scanners awaiting them at all three entrances of the high school.

It's part of a beefed up security system that's being added to the high school in response to November shooting that left four students dead.

The scanners are capable of detecting weapons inside a student's backpack. It's one of a number of new additions that were unveiled during a Monday town hall with parents in Oxford. A dog that specializes in detecting weapons and a private security company that supplies armed personnel will also be at the building.

The district previously announced using cameras that are enabled by an artificial intelligence-based gun detection system that can report the of presence of a firearm quickly.

The 90-minute meeting is one of many the district has held with students and parents in preparation for the upcoming school year. Previous meetings have involved tense meetings between board members of the district that parents have accused of not being transparent enough.

A school board meeting last Tuesday went late as parents demanded the resignations of board members. The meeting was held after the district released footage of the Nov. 30 shooting day that included video that allegedly shows the security guard passing by shooting victims - and at one point thinking a victim was wearing realistic training make up only to realize it might have been real later.

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A recent survey of students at the school found only a third felt safe. 

The new equipment is expected to be installed this week and students return to class on Aug. 25.