New Safety Measures During Football Games
On Friday, September 1st, 2023, Huskies fans heading into the varsity football game at Ashe County High School may have noticed some new safety equipment in place. We say “may notice” because the devices are pretty unobtrusive and are easy to miss. Because of this, we wanted to
take this opportunity to make the community aware of these devices and share some of their intended uses.
At each stadium gate entrance, Ashe County deputies will be manning the latest technology in what is known as “opengate” weapons screening devices that Ashe County Schools recently purchased. If right now you’re picturing the narrow, intimidating metal detectors of the past, think again. This exciting new technology is inviting, low-key, and, frankly, pretty forgettable. That’s why
we at the Sheriff’s Office and our partners at Ashe County Schools are excited about this new school safety initiative.
It is important to note that these devices are not in place because of any perceived threat or issue but instead are being rolled out as a proactive approach to keeping Ashe County students safe, which is always our priority. Implementing these metal screening devices has been a small but essential part of a much larger school safety initiative partnership with Ashe County Public Schools, detailed weeks ago in a press release by Superintendent Cox. So, ‘why now’ might you ask? Easy. For years, small, idyllic communities like ours have struggled with whether to put screening devices in schools. The discussion always had valid opinions on both sides of the debate, with one side pointing out that the devices would provide an extra layer of safety and the other correctly pointing out that old metal detector technology could intimidate and inconvenience students. This new opengate technology virtually eliminates that debate. In short, we’re at a point where these high-tech devices are so unassuming and work so seamlessly and quickly that the benefits far outweigh the old, frankly then-valid, concerns of the old technology.