Birmingham City Schools respond to video showing unmanned metal detectors at Huffman High School

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Leaders at Birmingham City Schools are responding after a parent shared a video showing unmanned metal detectors at Huffman High School.

Senara Holden told CBS 42 that she recorded the video Tuesday morning.

“I came before 8:40 and it was like that, it was unplugged, and that’s a time where you have kids coming in packs,” said Holden.

Holden said school safety is personal after the 2018 shooting death of Courtlin Arrington. Arrington died after she was shot inside Huffman High School. A fellow classmate’s gun went off. 

After noticing no staff members near the metal detectors Tuesday, Holden shared images to Facebook.

“We already have a child that has lost their life literally, literally, rest in heaven Courtlin, and it makes you think that they think that it is a game and it is not,” she said.

Holden believes a police presence helps deter teens from making a mistake.

“When they see the grown people, the staff, taking the effort, it makes them think before they come to school. Oh, let me leave this, let me put this back, they’re going to be checking,” she said.

Holden said that after she posted the video to Facebook, the principal and police were monitoring metal detectors Wednesday. She hopes that continues throughout the year.

“That is something I want to see every day, that’s not something I want to see because I have put it out on a social network,” she said.

CBS 42 reached out to Birmingham City Schools to request an interview on the subject. No one was made available.

BCS provided the following information:

“Birmingham City Schools is aware of photos and video that has recently surfaced attempting to portray as if metal detectors are not in use at Huffman High School. To be clear, Huffman High School utilizes metal detectors and other security measures on a daily basis. 

“During peak hours for student arrival, metal detectors are monitored by school personnel. Students are required to go through metal detectors on a daily basis. 

“As a matter of record, metal detectors are rechargeable, meaning they are not required to be constantly plugged in. 

“Visitors must be buzzed in by front-office personnel prior to entering the building. If an individual enters the building at a time outside of peak hours, school personnel may not be present manning the metal detectors. 

“Visitors are required to visit the front office and present valid identification, which is then checked in the school’s visitor management system. 

“As an added layer of security, three school resource officers are present at the school on a daily basis.

“Metal detectors are one tactic as part of a broader plan to promote school safety and security protocols, which cannot be discussed in order to ensure intel is not compromised.” 

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