Atlanta Public Schools to install new body scanners at all middle, high schools

Body scanners are the same used at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Lenox Mall
Published: Sep. 6, 2022 at 11:15 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 7, 2022 at 1:09 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - On Tuesday, the Board of Education for Atlanta Public Schools unanimously approved a $2.6 million investment into new body scanners to be installed at all middle and high schools district-wide.

“We want to be able to move people, a large number of people, in a short period of time,” said Chief Ronald Applin, Chief of Police for Atlanta Public Schools.

The body scanners will also be installed at high school football stadiums.

Applin said the body scanners are the same kind used at Mercedes-Benz Stadium and Lenox Square mall in Atlanta.

He projects all body scanners will be up and running by January, the start of the second semester.

Since the start of school, APS officials have recovered two guns during security checks, according to Applin.

He said that was a drop-off compared to the first month of school in 2021.

Applin said the purpose of the body scanners is two-fold: security and improve efficiency in getting students into school.

Some APS students told CBS46 News that they had experienced long security lines during the first month of school.

Virginia Brewer, a senior at North Atlanta High School, said the security lines during the first week were especially taxing and resulted in many students missing class time.

She said the school resulted to random back checks to improve efficiency.

“Even getting your bag checked and going through the scanner takes like 5 minutes so still you’re going into class late,” said Brewer, in an interview with CBS46 on Tuesday.

APS officials said the body scanners would especially help students at North Atlanta High School, one of the district’s largest schools.

Brewer said she appreciated the investment by the district.

“It shows they really do care about our safety. And school shootings are super serious so I do think that it is putting their money in a safe spot. I mean, for efficiency, for everything, I think it is a really great thing they can do,” Brewer said.

Applin said existing metal detectors will remain in all schools. These body scanners will just enhance the district’s multi-layered safety plan.

He said this school year the district has added more security officers, more surveillance cameras, and enhanced door security.

This all comes almost two weeks after someone threatened to shoot and kill Midtown High School students. CBS46 talked to some parents of that high school to see what they think about this new measure. Some told us they still feel uneasy about dropping their kids off at school because of the alarming number of school threats and shootings taking place across the country and they welcome any extra layers of security.