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Principal says metal detectors make her school safer

Lone Star High School has zero tolerance policy

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The principal of an Arlington charter high school spoke out Friday about the safety of her students. They were her first public comments since a fight involving her students caused nearby schools to go on lockdown last week.

LaShanda Roberts, principal of Lone Star High School, told News4Jax that her school is safe and has a zero tolerance for fighting.

"We have a metal detector here. If they beep, we also wand them down," Roberts said. "Students are not allowed to bring electronics into the school."

Metal detectors have been in place since Lone Star High School opened six years ago. The school made news headlines for a fight, which police said to have involved students from Lone Star and from Terry Parker High School.

"We pride ourselves in making sure our school is always safe, clean and a very good learning environment for our students," Roberts said.

Lone Star is part of a program called SIATech Charter Schools. The schools have the same setup and expectations as other public schools, aside from smaller classes and stricter security policies.

"I have a security guard as well as a resource officer that works here and checks the students in and we all take turns checking their purses and book bags and things of that nature," Roberts said. 

Roberts admits that her students may be involved in fights, but she says, that with the way the school is set up, students are not fighting on campus.

"We don't want them looking over their shoulders. We don't want them anxious about anything that could jump off on the campus," Roberts said. "We want them to feel safe so that they can come here and put their best foot forward."

There are close to 200 students at Lone Star, so the principal says she addressed the fighting situation with students. She says the community is also going to have to do its part in keeping children safe.