Friday, April 18, 2008

Trust But Verify

WaPo has a story about whether schools should use metal detectors to hunt for weapons. Most school systems have rejected the idea, saying it's just not feasible given all the entrances a building might have and the staffing that would be necessary.

There's an interesting bit at the end of the story about the quality of official reporting on the subject:

Reports of guns in schools remain comparatively rare in the region. Prince George's has confiscated 10 firearms since fall 2006. Montgomery school officials report only one firearm in that span apart from the three recovered last week. The Anne Arundel, Howard and Loudoun school systems report one gun each.

School officials greet such reports with skepticism. Federal law requires school systems to report firearm violations as a condition of funding, but the incidents are mostly self-reported.

The most recent report on guns in Maryland schools, for example, shows no gun confiscated in a Howard County school in the 2006-07 academic year, even though a student was arrested with a gun in June 2007 at Hammond High School. Patti Caplan, spokeswoman for the Howard school system, said the incident might have been omitted because it happened so late in the school year.

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