The Granville County school district announced that over the past several months, it has expanded safety resources across the district. That includes intermittent use of walk-through metal detectors at its secondary schools.
The district will deploy the detectors unannounced and typically screen either predetermined samples of students, or sometimes all students, upon morning arrival.
"I'm concerned that we do receive phone calls that schools are having to go on lockdown," said Suzanna Tho-mas, who lives in Creedmoor.
It's a call Tho-mas says happens a lot lately as an increasing number of students are bringing weapons to school and threats become more common. She has two children attending school in Creedmoor and calls the walk-through metal detectors a preventative tool that could save lives.
"I think over and above anything our children's and teachers lives matter. We need to be proactive about it," she said.
According to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, for the 2020-2021 school year, school districts across the state reported 28 firearms, 493 weapons and 5 bomb threats.
"After consulting with law enforcement, we decided as a precaution to implement the use of walk-through metal detectors, bag searches and additional supervision during our student arrival morning process," said a voicemail sent out to parents Monday who attend GC Hawley Middle School after receiving a social media threat.
The district also sent a survey to parents asking them to weigh in on the use of metal detectors.
Harrison Shackford attended school in the district as a boy. He's not a parent, but a proud uncle who is passionate about school safety. He's encouraging broader conservation to take place.
"We need to talk about responsibility to gun owners. it's up to each individual gun owner to be safe, responsible and lawful," said Shackford. "I'm a firearm owner. I'm carrying mine now. You can't see it. I'm a licensed firearm owner. I'll tell you now, these kids who bring guns to school, where are their parents? Why are those guns not in gun safes?"
Granville County told ABC11 that the use of metal detectors won't be used every day at the middle schools. They will be used for unannounced screening of all students or pre-determined groups of students.