A new security system being offered across the U.S. is providing schools with the ability to search the sexual predator database in realtime. Before the security system was in place, schools worked off of an honor system. No background check was done on visitors, such as a parent or family friend attending a school event. This left schools vulnerable to possible sexual predators entering the building.
According to Florida Today, Brevard Public Schools in Florida is one such school district using the new security system. The system works by having individuals scan their driver’s license, and new KeepnTrack software will run a check through a sexual predator database from all 50 states. School officials and parents say they love the new system. Robert Arthur Sr., a parent of three at Saturn Elementary in Cocoa says:
“I love it. I can’t come up with a better word. Our children shouldn’t be within 1,000 miles of someone like that, let alone on the same property.”
The school does note there is a possibility for error if someone has a common name such as John Smith. Fortunately, the program has an answer to the common name problem as well: a photo of the sexual predator will be displayed on the screen. This will give school officials the ability to look at the photo and compare it to the person standing before them.
According to the Chicago Sun Times, the Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills District is also trying out the new sexual predator database in schools. The system the district is using is called the Hall Pass system. The system is used by having visitors present identification, usually a driver’s license, to an office staff member, who will use the Hall Pass system to scan the ID for a check against the sex offenders registry and any other data bases desired by the school. Once visitors have cleared the system check they are issued a stickered visitor’s pass with their photo on it. The school’s Director of Communications, Bridget McGuiggan says:
“This is something our Safety and Crisis Committee has talked about. We’re always looking for ways to make our buildings more secure for better safety, and we want to find out if this system works effectively for us. This is a proactive measure for safety.”
The system is good for more than just sexual offender checks as well. School officials at Brevard note that the system could come in handy during an emergency situation such as a bomb threat. By utilizing the web-based system, teachers and administrators will have pictures of anyone who checked in the day of the incident. This will allow the school to know who is supposed to be on campus during the crisis, and will make it easier to determine if someone is out-of-place.
What do you think of the new security systems utilized at these schools? Do you wish your child’s school had this program?