Austin-East students to be screened by metal detector wands upon return to in-person class following shooting


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A spokesperson with Knox County Schools reports Austin-East Magnet High School students will be screened by metal detector wands upon return to in-person instruction after the officer-involved shooting that occurred at the school.

The subject of metal detectors was brought up in a press conference last week with KCS Superintendent Bob Thomas and security chief Gus Paidousis.

Superintendent Thomas said the school system has talked about metal detectors and security chief Paidousis said that they are an option — whether a walk-through option or a handheld one.

“If you have a child every morning go through a metal detector, and then if the metal detector alerts on anything, that child empties their pockets and backpack. While there is some value, it does change the entire complexion of that school day and how that school day starts. We are talking about a lot of different options, metal detectors are a possibility, but there’s a lot of challenges.”

Security Chief Gus Paidousis

Students at Austin-East are scheduled to return to in-person instruction on Thursday.

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