New school year brings latest safety meaures

Published 12:00 pm Monday, August 12, 2019

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Safety continues to be of substantial concern to Claiborne school personnel, students and parents as the new school year begins. The safety department has not been sitting idly by while national headlines point to mass shootings and cases in which children have been prey to sexual offenders.

Safety Director Bob Oakes and other school officials have implemented the Raptor system – a management tool that performs background checks of any person upon entering a school campus. The device works as an identification card scanning system that instantly screens visitors, contractors and volunteers for any “red flags.” The system can also be customized to alert the school in the event a parent is say, under an Order of Protection or is battling for custody of his or her children.

Raptor is also handy when tracking students and faculty who arrive late or leave campus early, giving each school a “more accurate head count” in case of emergencies.

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Once a visitor is cleared, Raptor prints out a badge that includes the name, date, time of entry and destination. The badge also carries a photo of the person wishing to enter the school.

If the visitor is identified as a potential threat, the system goes immediately to work issuing instant alerts to designated staff by email and text messages.

“We’re excited to be incorporating Raptor in our schools. People are checking in and out of campus constantly. It’s a revolving door of visitors, volunteers and vendors, and the Raptor system offers an extra layer of protection,” said Linda Keck, director of schools.

“Whether it’s making sure a student is being released to the right parent, or whether a volunteer, visitor or vendor has been cleared to enter our campus, we know with Raptor we’re doing everything we can to keep our students and faculty safe.”

Keck announced during the school board meeting last week that all in-service personnel underwent Active Shooter Training just prior to the start of school on Aug. 8.

The third leg of the “triple-threat” of safety measures includes an on-site School Resource Officer for each campus, insuring constant protection from a qualified law enforcement officer.