Many costly security systems--including metal detectors and entry-control devices--are not as effective at improving school security as parents and school officials might hope, according to a recent study.

Crystal Garcia, assistant professor at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, surveyed 41 school districts about the security equipment they use and its effectiveness.

The study included mostly larger schools in 15 states, including Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS). Garcia gathered the information last year, as school administrators rushed to install security systems in the


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