X-ray machines installed in Hazleton Area High School

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HAZLE TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Frustration and confusion, that’s how students and parents describe the scene this morning at the Hazleton Area High School as x-ray machines were used to screen items being brought into the building.

But students say they were left out in the cold.

This comes just days after a large fight in the parking lot near the high school involving students and non-students in which a person was stabbed.

District officials insist there is no connection between the placement of these x-ray machines and that fight.

School officials tell Eyewitness News these x-ray machines were ordered months ago to upgrade the school district’s security level, but many students and parents say Day One was a complete disaster.

A video was taken by a student as she waited in line to enter the Hazleton Area High School Wednesday morning.

“There were hundreds of students lined up all trying to get into the building to use the new equipment that they have there and everyone was on top of each other. Everyone is racing to get to the front everyone like piled on top of each other and it was freezing outside,” explained student Ateya Dercole. “I’m happy they are going the extra mile for higher security but I think it needs to be better planned out.”

“It’s just another layer in our effort to continue to keep our schools safe and again it was day one there are going to be bugs that need to be worked out,” stated HASD Superintendent Dr. Brian Uplinger.

Dr. Uplinger insists the process will improve.

“We already have a plan in place for tomorrow that will speed up the process. We apologize for the length of time students had to stand outside but again it’s to continue to keep our buildings safe,” said Dr. Uplinger.

Dr. Uplinger insists that the school district police had the situation under control this morning.

Dr. Uplinger points out that the x-ray machines have nothing to do with a fight outside the school last week in which a person was stabbed. He adds the x-ray machines were approved by the school board months ago.

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