Students protest metal detectors at Riverside University H.S.

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Metal detectors have become more common at schools across the country. But students at one Milwaukee high school are against the policy. They organized a protest Thursday morning, October 17th to show school officials how it makes them feel.

The students wore orange and held signs proclaiming, “We are scholars, not suspects." Several students at the protest said they feel they are being treated like prisoners having to go through a full scan every day- complete with metal detectors and security.

“We are scholars means we are students and have the opportunity to go to college that said we should not be treated like prisoners and be going through metal detectors every single day,” said one student.

It's the first year for the daily scan and metal detectors at Riverside University High School. But officials with Milwaukee Public Schools said the scans already take place at most of the large high schools in the district. 17 of the district’s schools start the day with a safety scan. The district said in those cases students are participating in the scans and getting to class on time. However, students at Riverside claim the process is making them late for class.

“It's cutting into our educational time when they are making us stand out in the cold,” said Justin Gonzalez, a Riverside High School student.

Even though the protest consisted of only students, parents weighed in as well. One parent, Phoebe Cox said, “This is not a bad school,” and asked, “So why do they need detectors. Why do they need to be searched?”

In a statement, a spokesperson with MPS said, “this is a proactive measure and not in response to any incident or series of incidents in our schools.”

The statement continued: “Recent events have reminded us that public spaces and buildings are not immune from the threat of violence.”

“I get that things happen in the world but for us to have to go through this every day,” said student Shantell Cox. “It's unorganized, so we are standing in the cold. It's unnecessary.”

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