Violence-related behavior in schools has declined in recent years, but the perception of risk remains high. Disturbingly high percentages of students and teachers report staying home out of fear, and many students bring weapons to school for protection. Current proposals for preventing school violence include punishing the violence-prone, expulsion for weapon carriers, and creating a culture of nonviolence through various behavioral methods like conflict resolution. None of these proposals address the issue of lethal violence and hence personal safety. The risk of lethal violence in schools(related mainly to firearms) could be substantially reduced by creating an effective barrier between firearms and people. This could be achieved by using entry-based weapons detection systems similar to those now used in airports and courts. Decreasing the risk and fear of violence by converting schools into weapons-free zones would also be expected to increase attendance and improve scholastic performance. Randomized, controlled studies should be undertaken to evaluate the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of entry-based weapons detection systems for achieving these outcomes.

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