KINGWOOD – The Preston Board of Education is considering adding metal detectors as a further safety measure at Preston County schools.
At Monday’s meeting, a local resident told board members her child, a student at Preston High, recently received a death threat on Snapchat. She said the threat indicated her child would be shot while at school.
The Snapchat app opens to a device’s camera, so users can take a photo or video, add a caption and send it.
“The sheriff and the school has the evidence,” she said. “I think metal detectors cost between 4 and 5 thousand dollars each and would protect our schools if violence breaks out.”
She said she knew a weapon had been found at the high school and indicated it was a knife.
“I know it’s inconvenient, but inconvenience can’t compare with the loss of a child,” she said.
BOE President Jack Keim said Superintendent of Schools Steve Wotring would get information about metal detectors and have it available for a future meeting.
Also speaking at the meeting was Holly Funk. Funk offered ways to better integrate LGBTQ students into schools. She suggested several websites that offered resources for educators and students to better ensure LGBTQ students are able to learn and grow in a bully- and harassment-free environment.
Some of the options she offered were GLSEN.org, The Treverporject.org and welcomingschools.org, as well as Welcoming Schools, an HRC Foundation prevention program.
Keim thanked Funk for the information and said it was too late for this school year. He said Wotring would check on a program for the next school year.
“It’s for everyone’s protection,” board member Pam Feathers said. “I appreciate your information. I want everyone to be safe.”
There will be no virtual option for Pre K-5 students for the 2021-’22 school year. The students will have to attend school in person. Full-time and part-time virtual learning will be available to Preston County students and Preston County home school students in grades 6-12.
Interested students and families must complete the application process between June 7 and July 30. The online application will be available on the Preston County Schools website. For questions regarding the virtual program, call 304-3290400, Ext. 422 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.