Last updated: March 26. 2013 11:45PM - 337 Views

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The Hazleton Area School Board voted 6-3 Tuesday in favor of spending nearly $80,000 to buy metal detectors for the district’s elementary and middle schools.

The detectors are part of a more comprehensive security approach being considered by the district that, if approved at next month’s meeting, will include guards to staff the devices at a cost of an additional $320,000 a year.

The board will continue to discuss whether it wants to approve armed or unarmed guards for the detectors and the cost differences between the two services.

“I think we’re being a bit reactionary here,” said board member Tony Binomial, who voted against the measure. “I think we should wait for further studies until we proceed with this and do IR in a comprehensive fashion and not piecemeal.”

In other business:

* Hazleton Police Chief Frank DeAndrea addressed the board on the implementation of the district’s recently enacted anti-bullying policy.

DeAndrea said that since the education-centered policy was instituted in October, the number of “founded” bullying cases in the district had decreased dramatically.

* Board members again said they were concerned about continued change orders and cost overruns for ongoing construction at the district’s new science center.

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