Visitors to Texas’ Gunter Independent School District will now have to produce a state-issued, or similar, form of ID before gaining entry to campuses. Gunter joins a growing roster of K12 districts implementing ID vetting and background checks at the school campus door.
According to local CBS affiliate KXII, the Gunter Independent School District has installed ID scanners for visitors on each of its campus to provide a boost to both campus and student safety.
The system in place scans any state-issued license, military ID and a number of IDs from other countries. The visitor’s ID is scanned into the system and then checked against a national sex offender database. Once entry is approved, a temporary visitor badge that identifies the visitor, the date and the purpose of the visit is printed.
The district spent an estimated $6,000 for the one-time installation of scanners. The neighboring Sherman Independent School District has been using the same system for the last six years.
“It’s been very positive because everyone is on board with wanting to make sure our students in the community are in a safe environment,” he said. “If we have a lot of folks lined up when you come in and they take a little bit of time to scan, we just want everyone to understand it’s for the safety for our kids.”
As with any procedural change, there will be an adjustment period with the occasional visitor not having an appropriate ID or something pops up during a background check. In cases of emergency, the school district has additional protocols in place. Gunter officials concede that running a secure campus can create an inconvenience, but it’s a necessary tradeoff.