EAST SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Anyone coming to East Syracuse Minoa Central High School, will have to walk through a new weapons detection system. Installed Monday, September 26, when students were remote and ready to use when students returned Tuesday.

“We actually processed through nearly 1,200 students within 35 minutes and we were all in by 9:01,” explained Superintendent Dr. Donna DeSiato.

With what happened in Uvalde and then an ESM student was arrested for bringing a loaded gun on a school bus in August, DeSiato said the district had been looking to add this even before school started. The racist threat made by a high school student over the weekend expedited its arrival.

“We’re not waiting for a tragedy at ESM,” DeSiato said. “We’re building them in now so that we can prevent such tragedy from happening.”

When students come in, they are asked to remove their Chromebooks. Three-ring binders and other items that may have metal and put them into bins. They can keep their keys and cell phones. Then they walk through.

What happens if someone sets it off?

“It will identify where on your body or in your bag there’s something we have to be concerned about,” DeSiato explained.

Desiato said this is the only school in the county to have this particular system. They are researching what it would take to add more. The district has reached out to state leaders for help through grants to pay for it.

The district has had School Resource Officers for 20 years. There is one SRO at the high school and one at the middle school.