This article originally appeared in the The Los Angeles Times – The Burbank Leader and was written by Priscella Vega. To view the original article, click here.
Burbank, CA — New security measures will be implemented on campuses in the Burbank Unified School District this year, officials said in an email sent to parents.
In addition to signing in at a front desk with a pen, Burbank Unified’s 17 schools will require visitors to undergo background checks. Visitors must present a valid ID that will be used to scan a national database that identifies sex offenders.
Burbank Unified emailed parents last week notifying them about Raptor Technologies, the new visitor-management software.
“The system will help the district track visitors, contractors and volunteers to provide a safer, more monitored environment for our students and staff,” said David Jaynes, assistant superintendent of administrative services for Burbank Unified, in the email.
In a phone interview Wednesday, Jaynes said there hasn’t been a specific incident within Burbank Unified to prompt screenings, but the district is implementing it as a safety precaution.
The district spent $45,000 for the equipment, Jaynes said, and it will cost $11,000 annually to renew the Raptor license.
The software will scan a visitor’s name, date of birth and photo to compare with registered sex offenders in the national database. Additional information will not be stored, and the system is not connected to the Department of Motor Vehicles, according to the email.
If there is a match, Raptor will notify district staff immediately. The system can also notify the police department via text messages, according to the Raptor Technologies website.
Badges will be printed with a photo of the visitor’s face along with the date and time when they arrived on campus, the email stated, adding that, at the end of each visit, badges must be returned.
Earlier this year in San Bernardino, a teacher and an 8-year-old boy were killed at North Park Elementary School when the teacher’s husband opened fire inside the special need’s classroom, and he later turned the gun on himself.
The San Bernardino City Unified School District soon after installed a new security system at North Park Elementary, where visitors must undergo background checks.
Jaynes said local school officials looked to districts in Alhambra and Anaheim that are using the same software system.
“Given the environment, it’s unfortunate, but hopefully this will be another good deterrent,” Jaynes said.