Lafayette, LA (KPEL News) - Lafayette Parish School Superintendent Francis Touchet focuses his efforts on three pillars that support the goal of providing students with a quality education: safety, discipline, and attendance. Today, the south Louisiana district announced the completion of an initiative that aligns directly with student safety.

Every school in Lafayette Parish is now equipped with weapons detectors.

Touchet realized that students and faculty need to feel safe when they were on school campuses. Last year, LPSS initiated a comprehensive safety enhancement initiative under the superintendent's direction. He stated:

My top priority is the safety of our students and staff, and I am pleased to say that each of our campuses are now equipped with weapons detection systems at each point of entry.

As a parent and grandparent, it's heartbreaking to realize that there is even a need for such equipment in our schools. But here we are.

The picture below was taken of one of the systems installed at a Lafayette Parish school.

Courtesy Lafayette Parish School System

At the beginning of the 2023-24 school year, all middle and high school campuses were equipped with the electromagnetic metal detectors called CEIA OPENGATE weapons detection systems. In January, installation began at all Lafayette Parish elementary schools to ensure a comprehensive safety net at all grade levels.

Courtesy Lafayette Parish School System (CEIA OPENGATE)

According to the CEIA website, the OPENGATE system is light-weight and portable. The system can screen people without the need for them to remove their backpacks or purses, and it scans for a variety of metal threats, like guns or knives. As with most things in 2024, there's an app for that. It allows credentialed users to monitor and adjust setting on the device as necessary.

Today, the Lafayette Parish School System announced that installation at all 48 school campuses and at the District Office is complete. The weapons detectors are placed at all public entrances at every school. They will be used daily to screen students and visitors when they arrive on campus. Anyone attending after school activities and sporting events will also be screened.

Superintendent Touchet will talk more about his focus areas in the coming weeks when he joins Tracy Wirtz on Acadiana's Morning News on News/Talk 96.5 KPEL. You can listen live on the air, online, or on the KPEL app at 8:00 each Wednesday morning.

School Safety Sling Bag

Gallery Credit: Randy Bogden

The ABC's of Fire Safety

26 Tips to help keep your home and family safe, including what to do in case of a fire.

Gallery Credit: Cindy Campbell

More From 99.9 KTDY