Should metal detecting wands be used in our elementary schools?

A debate has begun after a metal detecting wand was used at a local elementary school, causing parents to question how young is too young? / Colby Gallagher

A parent of a child that attends the International Studies Elementary Charter School says she's upset after she went to drop her 5-year-old off at class and saw the students being checked with metal detectors at the door, but Dougherty County School System Officials say it's only for the safety of the students.

The move has sparked a debate between parents with some saying they think it's unnecessary to use metal detectors on innocent children while others applaud the efforts of the school system, who say they perform the random checks to make sure weapons don't cross the threshold.

"We use them intermittently, we don't have a scheduled time in which we use them but in every school we want students and parents to know that we have them and that, in our mind, it's a deterrent for students who may bring a weapon to school," said DCSS Public Information Officer RD Harter.

The upset mother who declined to go on camera says she didn't know of the metal detector checks and thinks parents should be notified of these decisions, but the school board says the random detections have been in place for more than five years and there has never been a complaint before this week.