FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. -- When you go to a school in North Carolina, you probably see a sign that reads something like this: All Visitors Check In At The Front Office.
All schools in the Winston-Salem Forsyth County district have cameras, so they can keep track of who is on campus at all times. But monitoring that becomes tricky if domestic violence comes into play.
Just because it's masked as something that looks real. If you see a guy wearing a trench clay walking through campus, then that's going to alert you to call the police but if you see a man coming to visit his wife who's a teacher to have lunch? Then it doesn't set your radar off as much.
"Just because it's masked as something that looks real," explains Jonathan Wilson, Security Director for the district. "If you see a guy wearing a trench coat walking through campus, then that's going to alert you to call the police but if you see a man coming to visit his wife who's a teacher to have lunch? Then it doesn't set your radar off as much."
Wilson says they do all they can when it comes to preventing threats from getting into school, but it's still important to have a plan. The district launched a new crisis management app this year. If there is an emergency, like a school shooting, principals and other administrators can open up the app and quickly get the help they need, like who to call and where to take students.
Wilson says they've already successfully used the app for minor incidents and wants to expand the capabilities to teachers. But he also points out that the latest technology does come at a cost.
"All these measures are great and the technology is fantastic, but when you start looking at the cost of what it is, how do we pay for that without putting too much of a burden on tax payers?" Wilson asks.
Forsyth County just passed a bond that would give the school system more money for security. Wilson says he hopes to expand on an Aiphone system that's already in the elementary schools. It allows the front office staff to see the person at the door before letting them into the building. He also says they'll use the money for more cameras in schools and says one day he hopes to expand their system to be able to check and see if visitors have criminal records or are on the sex offender registry.
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