Schools Work On Having Visitor Background Checks

Schools Work On Having Visitor Background Checks

GREENSBORO, N.C. - When a stranger wants to come into your house, you don't just let them in. You check them out first - make sure they are on the up and up. But 2 Wants To Know found not all school districts background check campus visitors. And today we're looking at a solution. A way to keep kids safe from sex offenders. Why does it matter? We know it happened at least once before in 2009 at an area school a registered sex offender signed into the school log more than 30 times.

Now technology has improved. It is expensive, but 2 Wants To Know found some schools are looking at it.

Phoenix Academy charter school in High Point has the latest visitor check-in upgrade from Ident-a-Kid. A drivers license scanner – which lets the school check names against the sex offender registry within seconds.

All Davie County Schools and some of Yadkin County also have this security upgrade. Alamance, Davidson, Guilford and Montgomery Counties have an Ident-a-kid system, but are missing the license scanner. That means these systems only keep a log of which visitors come in-- there are no visitor background checks.

Ident-A-Kid director Joyce Johnson is talking with the districts right now about upgrading.

"Technology has worked very closely with me. It would still probably take months even up to a year to get everybody," She said.

The upgrade cost could be as little as $219 per school or $1,600 per school depending on the age of the school's computer system. To give you the big picture-- Guilford County upgraded every school a the highest upgrade cost of $1,600 per school--- the cost could top out around $200,000.

When you think about the price, remember districts are cash strapped right now. They're already struggling to pay for normal classroom needs. So where can the money come from? Please comment on this story if you have any ideas.


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