Metal detectors being used to screen students at Halifax County High School

Students have to go through detectors entering building each day

HALIFAX COUNTY, Va. – Getting into school is going to take a little longer for Halifax County High School students.

They now have to go through metal detectors.

About 600 of the roughly 1,500 students at the high school walked through the metal detectors Monday morning.

It went relatively smooth, but the students said it took longer than they would've liked.

Staff members remained positive as they worked quickly to get students through the metal detectors.

When the bell rang to signal the start of classes, any student who hadn't gotten through was allowed into school and did not have to be screened.

Day one didn't get a lot of positive reviews from students.

"I was standing outside for a long time, and it's cold, so that upset me. I felt like I was in jail," ninth-grader Ne'Vaeh Greene said.

"I think it's pretty stupid because not everybody brings stuff," 10th-grader Abbie Saunders said.

"I didn't like it because I had to stand out in the cold," ninth-grader Tianna Boyd said.

Other students were more understanding.

"I didn't really mind it. The school has to do what they have to do to protect all students," 10th-grader Joseph Duffer said.

"I think it was a step in the right direction. I know they are just trying to push safety right now and I really appreciate that they're pushing that," 12th-grader Jillian Waller said.

When asked if they feel any safer, students had mixed responses.

"If a kid wants to fight or kill me, there's plenty of objects in this school to hurt me with," Boyd said.

"People can still bring stuff and not get caught with it," Saunders said.

"It just feels like regular school," Greene said.

"I'm still thinking someone will try to find a way to sneak other stuff in," Duffer said.

"Students, they may find a way to get in a side door or something like that, but most of them, they'll come through the front door in the morning and they'll go through the metal detectors and maybe they'll get caught," 12th-grader Herbert Brooks said.

Principal Michael Lewis says he's pleased with how Monday went.

"I think we established today that we're going to need some more equipment and personnel to keep the lines down," Lewis said.

The goal is to perfect the process so that come the start of the new school year in August, every student will go through metal detectors.