Hickman Mills makes school security changes

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- School is back in session for Hickman Mills’ students. But there are a few security changes that have some parents worried.

When Monique Townsend dropped her son off at Ruskin High School, she was worried. Earlier she received an automated call from the school about some changes.

"The schools will no longer have metal detectors and to be honest, I don't think that's safe," she said.

Metal detectors and backpack searches were used every day for the past four years. Now, they will only be used randomly and when there is reason to.

"It's a toxic way to start our day. The teachers are frustrated; the students are frustrated when they walk into the room. It’s just not what’s best for our students," said Superintendent Dennis Carpenter.

Carpenter says those measures only added a false sense of security. Last year, a student at Ruskin smuggled in a gun even though the metal detectors were in place.

"If someone wanted to do harm to us bad enough in the school setting, the metal detectors won't stop that," he added.

Carpenter hopes this decision will cultivate more trust and responsibility between parents and students and staff. But that change scares Townsend.

"It's a lot of parents who don't care about their kids, they just what them kids to get out of the house. They're not going to make sure their kids don't have any weapons on them like some parents will," she said.

Townsend has two kids enrolled in the district and is considering not allowing them to go to school until the metal detectors are back.

The detectors remain on campus and can be wheeled out when needed.