ATLANTA -- Nearly four weeks after terrified parents gathered outside of Price Middle School, desperate for information after news of a shooting on campus, Atlanta Public Schools released an audit of the district's metal detectors.
In the report, some units were found to belacking pieces, inoperable or missing altogether.
In the days following the incident at Price Middle School, Atlanta Public School officials determined that the school'smetal detectors were inoperable the day of the shooting. Superintendent Erroll Davis promised a full audit of the district's metal detectors to determine if any others needed repair.
11Alive News obtained a copy of that report, which showed 70 metal detectors were inspected district-wide: 33 of those in middle schools, 33 in high schools and 4 in district buildings.
Of the high school detectors, most were found to be in working order, though some were missing cords. Only two schools contained an inoperable unit: Forrest Hills and South AtlantaHigh Schools(marked "missing cord" in the report).
For both schools, the other units in the buildingwere found to be working.
An inspection of the district's middle schools found more problems. Best Academy Middle School was missing a unit altogether. Two more middle school units were inoperable due to missing cords. And four other schools - Price, Parks, Young and Sylvan Middle Schools - included at least one unit marked "not working" or "not working/damaged."
In one of those buildings, Sylvan Middle, both of the school's metal detectors were found to be broken.
Sylvan parent Kierstian Artis said it wasn't easy sending her sixth and seventh graders back to school after the Price shooting. The two schools are only three miles apart.
"I'm terrified. Absolutely terrified," she said. "I've been all up and through [Sylvan] for different reasons and I've never seen a metal detector. I definitely don't think they have an appreciation for the safety of our kids."
District spokesman Steve Alford said in the last three weeks, the district has put hand wand metal detectorsin every middle and high school.
District policy requires every student to pass through a metal detector or be hand-wanded before entering a middle or high school building. But following the incident at Price, Alford said district officials have been more vigilant in enforcing that rule.
"There is nothing more important than the safety and security of our students," Alford said.
"You have to understand, maintaining the metal detectors at all our schools, that's an ongoing process. So we'll never be finished servicing all the metal detectors."
Alford said the district is currently working on repairing or replacing the broken metal detectors.