Hundreds of Iowa students will see much tighter security measures when they head back to class in a few weeks. At least four Iowa school districts have invested in a “visitor management system” called Raptor.
Bettendorf superintendent Theron Schutte says the system will scan a person’s driver’s license, then check a national data base of registered sex offenders. “I think the occurrences of people coming into schools that shouldn’t be in schools is really, really rare but all it takes is one bad incident to become a big, big deal,” Schutte says.
All visitors will be required to check in at the front office, show I-D, sign in and out, and wear a badge. The system can electronically track all visitors while they’re on school grounds. Schutte says, “If there’s anything that we can do to further shore up our systems to minimize to the fullest extent possible anything bad happening to our students or staff, we certainly want to do that.”
Schutte says they can also add the names of expelled students or people with no contact orders. The system will automatically alert the principal, police liaison and other officials if someone on the lists tries to enter a school.
In central Iowa, the Johnston school district recently spent $14,000 for the Raptor system. It’s also in use at schools in Waterloo and Ankeny.