Carroll County Public School officials have announced expanding the Raptor Technologies Visitor Management System into more local elementary schools. The roll-out decision of the enhanced security system was made before the school shooting on Februay 14 in Parkland, Florida.
Among its features is a link to sexual offender identification data bases. The trials of the system began in Carroll County High School, Hillsville Elementary and Carroll County Middle School with it being in use for the last two years at CCMS. “All in all, everyone has been receptive,” said Administrative Assistant Tammy Tobler. “Most everyone understands the situation and the need for systems of this sort.”
Principal Marc Quesenberry said the system adds another level of security, enabling personnel at the front desks to more quickly identify possible problems before individuals gain access to students. Within seconds of scanning a persons Driver’s License, Raptor can flag sexual offenders registered in the system and alert school employees who can deny further access to common areas and notify School Resource Officers, administration and law enforcement. He said those wanting access or picking up a child for instance must have a photo identification, like a Driver’s license.
“If a person does not have a Driver’s License and they are not in the system as a person approved to pick up a child we will contact parents to get authorization before a child is allowed to leave,” Quesenberry said. “Visitors must have their ID scanned in. We’ve had this system for two years and it goes pretty smoothly.”
He did say there tends to be a bit of a slowdown on special, high-traffic days at the school, so parents new to this should prepare accordingly. Quesenberry said he has noticed very few instances of Raptor slowing down traffic into and out of the building on a daily basis.
Quesenberry said the new system is an additional level of security for students, which is being added and predicted it would soon be as normal as the buzz-in entry systems so common in the Division. He said to a large extent society dictates what educators have to react to and precautions have to be taken so possibly dangerous persons may gain access to the front office but not to students.
“Our students are the reason we are here,” Quesenberry said. “Once parents are aware of what it does, it doesn’t take much explaining to get them on board.”
David Broyles may be reached at 276-779-4013 or on Twitter@CarrollNewsDave.