Use of Metal Detectors (Magnetometers) 3-64.1

School Board of the City of Virginia Beach
Regulation 3-64.1


Security of Buildings and Grounds: Use of Metal Detectors (Magnetometers)

  1. Generally

    Weapons or explosives of any kind are prohibited on school property, in school buildings, or at school related functions. Possession of weapons or explosives is a violation of School Board policy and will subject an individual to disciplinary action and possible criminal penalties.

    The administration possesses the authority to take all reasonable, necessary and proper measures provided by law and School Board policy and regulations to safeguard the students, employees and property of the School Division, including, but not limited to, the use of stationary or mobile metal detectors.

    The purpose of the metal detector scan is to prevent and deter weapons and explosive devices from entering the schools. At all times, the degree and nature of the inspection are not to go beyond what is necessary to allow staff to discharge its responsibility.

  2. Procedures

    Procedures governing the use of metal detectors during the school day, on school property or at school-related activities are set forth below.

    1. The Superintendent, his or her designee, or the principal of a school, in a non-delegable duty, shall approve the use of a metal detector at his or her school, school property or specific school activities.
    2. Only school personnel trained in the use of metal detectors or Virginia Beach police officers requested by the school principal, his/her designee or the Superintendent to conduct the screening shall be authorized to conduct metal detector screenings. Training for school personnel shall be arranged through the Office of Safety and Loss Control.
    3. When a metal detector is to be used in a particular school or at a school activity, signs shall be prominently posted to notify all persons that, as a condition of entrance or continuing attendance to the school or school related activity, they will be required to pass through, or submit to, a metal detector screening of their person and property.
    4. When a metal detector is being used, all designated students, staff members, and others who wish to enter the school or school related activity shall use only the entries designated.
    5. Principals/designees must be present to observe the scanning of students. Where there is more than one scanning site, designees shall be assigned at the direction of the principal or his/her designee to ensure proper coordination of the scan procedure and follow-up activities. This presence will further enable the principal to report accurately on the results and to provide an evaluation of the scanning procedures. In addition, the presence of the principal/designee will have a calming effect on students who are the subject of the scan.
    6. All individuals entering the school building are subject to being searched. However, when necessary or deemed appropriate (e.g., inclement weather, emergencies, limited equipment or staff, delay of the school day, back-log of persons), the principal, his/her designee or the Superintendent may elect not to screen every person or cancel the screening for that day. In such cases, the principal, his/her designee or the Superintendent will determine the number of persons to be screened using one or both of the following alternatives:
      1. Screen a specific ratio of individuals (example: every 2nd, 4th, or 7th individuals);
      2. Allow a number of individuals to enter without being screened; then resume screening all individuals or a specific ratio of persons as noted above.
    7. Under no circumstances may school officials select a particular individual(s) to be searched, unless there is a reasonable suspicion to believe that the individual(s) is in possession of weapons or explosives.
    8. If a metal detector activates on an individual, the individual activating the device shall be asked to remove metal objects from his or her person and walk through or be scanned a second time. If, after the removal of other metal objects and a third activation by the metal detector, the individual will be taken to a room or area out of view from others and subjected to a pat-down search under the search and seize procedures set forth below and in School Board Regulation 5-65.1.
    9. If school personnel conducting the pat-down search feel an object may have activated the metal detector, they will then ask the person upon whom the object was felt to remove such object. If the person refuses, the object may be removed by the school personnel or police officers subject to restrictions set forth below and in School Board Regulation 5-65.1 regarding strip searches. When an object which could have activated the metal detector is removed from a person, school personnel shall cease the search. The person shall pass through the metal detector once more and the search shall be continued only if the metal detector again indicates the presence of metal.
    10. The pat-down search shall, at all times when conducted by school personnel, be in the presence of an adult witness and conducted by school personnel of the same sex as the person being searched.

      Subsequent to any search, the principal shall document the scope of the search and circumstances which gave rise to the search. At no time shall any school personnel, pursuant to this policy, submit any person to a strip search for potential metal objects or other contraband. For purposes of this regulation, strip search is defined in School Board Regulation 5-65.1. If a strip search is deemed to be appropriate, school personnel shall contact the Virginia Beach Police Department, who will determine whether a strip search is necessary and conduct such search if appropriate.
    11. If any briefcase, knapsack, purse, parcel or other package causes the activation of a metal detector, school personnel shall inspect the same for any weapons concealed therein.
    12. All property removed from a person as a result of this procedure and not defined as contraband shall be returned to the person. Property removed from a person which is defined as contraband, even though it may not have been capable of activating the metal detector, shall be confiscated, documented and turned over to the Virginia Beach Police Department or other appropriate agency for proper handling. Any contraband seized by school personnel pursuant to this Regulation may be admissible in any subsequent criminal proceeding. The person in violation of the policies and regulations of the School Board shall be disciplined in accordance with the policies and regulations of the School Board.
    13. Any student or employee who refuses to cooperate with school personnel performing their duties under this policy or police officers conducting metal detector screenings at school(s), on school property or at school related activities, may be subject to discipline in accordance with the policies and regulations of the School Board and required to leave school property. Any person who refuses to cooperate with school personnel performing their duties under this Policy or police officers shall be required to leave school property.
    14. Nothing in this Regulation shall limit the authority of school officials in accordance with School Board Regulation 5-65.1 to conduct an administrative inspection of school storage spaces provided to students nor to search a student, their personal property or lockers upon reasonable suspicion that a particular person is in possession of contraband in violation of state or federal law and the policies and regulations of the School Board.

School Board Regulation 5-65.1. Search and Seizure

School Board Regulation 5-65.1

Approved by Superintendent: January 19, 1993
Revised by Superintendent: August 31, 1999
Revised by Superintendent: January 17, 2014