Onslow County Board of Education unanimously votes to install weapons detection systems at high schools

ONSLOW COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) – Parents in the Onslow County school system have been begging for improved school safety measures following two incidents in the past several years.

A deadly stabbing at Northside Jacksonville High School during the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year, rocked the county.

However, a shooting across from White Oak High School this September, sparked a demand for metal detectors, especially from Shaun Frank and Julia Benefield, who say their daughters were the victims in the shooting.

“It’s sad that it takes a violent act to a student to shed light on the lack of security and care that’s given by the school system,” Frank said.

“We don’t give up on our children,” Benefield said. “We’re going to keep coming and keep asking for the same thing until it happens.”

Metal detectors are already being used in the school system at large and public events like basketball and football games but, the Board of Education has explored using them on a wider scale.

They were presented with a feasibility study at Tuesday night’s meeting and unanimously voted to move forward with installing Evolv weapons detection systems at high schools in the school system.

The Evolv weapons detection systems will be used as students enter the schools.

Frank and Benefield believe it should’ve happened sooner.

“I don’t think it should’ve taken a whole two months to make this happen,” Frank said. “You can do a feasibility study within a matter of a week.”

“I think they already had an idea of what they were going to do about metal detectors,” Benefield said. They kind of manipulating it to convince the public that the decision they made is right.”

The board says the next steps are to work on securing funding and cost for the Evolv weapons detection systems so they can be implemented.