Mississippi’s Petal School District is implementing a new security measure to its visitor management system that indicates when a registered sex offender attempts to gain access to any school in the district.
Per a report from local news affiliate WDAM 7, the school district is turning to a Raptor visitor management system and it tying into public databases to check school visitors against national sexual offender databases. When a school visitor checks in with school office staff, they are required to present an official ID for the school official to scan. Once complete, the visitor’s information will appear to the school official.
Appropriate identification includes state IDs, driver licenses, military IDs, United States passports or Mexican consulate cards. Alternatively, the visitor’s name and date of birth can be entered into the system manually if a photo ID is not available.
Provided the visitor has a clean record, a photo badge will printed out for the visitor to wear while at the school. If, however, a visitors record reveals that they are a registered sex offender, a silent alarm is sent to the school resource officer and school administration.
Officials with the school district explain that the new ID vetting policy is not a response to any particular incidents with the current system, but rather is a proactive measure that the district deemed worthy of taking.
The vetting process will take place before visitors ever come into contact with students or teachers. In addition to identifying any registered sex offenders, the system will also increase the school district’s awareness of exactly who is on it’s campuses.
The Raptor system uses a database of registered sex offenders that draws from all 50 states. The system only scans visitors’ name, date of birth and photo. School officials have explained that for large events on campus, alternative entry policies will be allowed.