• Orange County schools to expand random security screening

    By: Mike Lopardi , James Tutten


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Orange County students could see more random metal detector screenings and bag checks at school.

    The school district said it is expanding its safety screening program that checks students and backpacks for items, such as weapons.

    The expansion allows private security teams to check more schools more often, but it's unknown how often since the district doesn't release those numbers.

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    “It's great that they've been doing it, and I hope they do it more often,” said Jose Urbina, the father of a Boone High School student.

    The screenings are not new. The program started in 2013 and mainly focuses on middle and high schools, but any school can be searched.

    The district said the screenings are random and can happen at any time.

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    “I think they're pretty necessary considering the environment that we're living in,” parent Cindy Kuck said.

    Earlier this month, the school board approved four outside firms to conduct the screenings, which will allow the expansion to move forward.

    The screenings are an addition to the metal detector wands that were given to administrators at middle and high schools earlier this year, but those may also be used.

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    The district said the two programs are part of a layered approach to keeping students safe.

    It's unknown how effective the screenings have been.

    District officials said they have discovered “unauthorized items,” but they would not reveal what those items are or how many of them were confiscated.

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