USD 259 approves new security tool

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USD 259 approved a new visitor check-in program they believe will enhance school safety. The system is called Hall Pass, it's designed to keep better track of visitors and identify sex offenders.

"When I was in school the doors for schools were wide open and anyone could come at anytime," said Terri Moses, USD 259 Executive Director of Safety Services. "Now we're going to monitor those people who enter that entrance point and make sure they are not on any sex offender list anywhere in the United States.

Here's how it works, you hand over your drivers license, which is scanned and goes through a national sex offender database. If you're in the clear, it prints out a pass for you.

It was tested at four different schools in Wichita. Moses said, "overwhelmingly what we heard back from parents and staff within the schools was positive."

However, this new program may not sit well with sex offenders who are involved in their child's schooling. " If there is a parent or somebody that is actively involved in a child's education we'll work with them to set up parameters where they can still be involved in a child's education."

While the system will just look at sex offenders now, the school district can widen its scope later. John Allison, USD 259 Board Member said, "the system is expandable and there are subscriptions other databases."

This system just another layer of protection for students. Lynn Rogers, another board member said, "safety and security has to be one of our highest concerns."

Moses said "whenever you're talking about safety in schools you're always looking to improve."

Frequent visitors won't have to go through that process every time. They'll be given an electronic keychain pass.

The school district hopes to have the new system installed by the start of the new school year.

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