Port Arthur ISD approves plan to add metal detectors; enhance elementary school safety

Published 12:38 am Saturday, June 25, 2022

Leaders with Port Arthur Independent School District approved the purchase of metal detectors for all elementary campuses and additional locations on secondary campuses.

The Garrett brand metal detectors come in at $64,425. The devices will help with scanning for weapons and assisting security personnel with other measures established for school safety, according to information from the district.

The approval of the purchase happened Thursday night during a regularly scheduled board meeting.

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“We’ve always worked on safety, but obviously have put a different perspective on what we actually need to do,” Superintendent Dr. Mark Porterie said. “It will never be enough, but we’re gong to do everything in our power to curtail and stop anyone from coming in the door and doing what we see happen so often in our world.”

Adrienne Lot, media and communications specialist with PAISD, said metal detectors are already at the seven secondary campuses and at the stadium.

The district has a number of other safety measures in place. Doors to campuses are locked; visitors have to be buzzed in to enter.

“We’re happy because all of the elementary schools are either new or renovated; we have no portable buildings, so we don’t have students walking in and out,” Porterie said. “Everyone’s under one roof, and it’s easier for elementary students to be transferred into one location, through one door.”

The district is also working toward having one entrance in and one exit out of schools, he added.

No date was provided for the installation of the metal detectors.