Schools check visitor IDs with sex offender database

SULPHUR (AP) — Six Calcasieu Parish schools will soon be checking visitors’ IDs against a national database of sex offenders.
One system was being set up recently at Frasch Elementary School, which has 706 students from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade.
School system risk manager Skylar Giardina says three systems are being tried at six schools — two schools per company.
Other schools in the pilot project are Molo Middle, J.D. Clifton Elementary, St. John Elementary, J.I. Watson Middle and Sulphur High 9th Grade Campus. Officials hope to have all pilot programs in place by the time students come back from Christmas break.
Visitors have always signed in to Frasch and cannot get through the school’s security doors unless a staffer admits them, principal Tony McCardle said. “We just feel it is a stronger measure to where we know, not more about who is on our campus, but if it’s safe to have that person on our campus,” McCardle said.
Giardina said the system being piloted at Frasch searches databases in 50 states and responds if a sex offender’s ID is scanned, along with a picture of the offender if it is available. Vendors have given the school system a list of protocols to use if a visitor is a sex offender, she said.
“We are going to start with that and work with our local law enforcement and see if they feel like the protocols fit with our community and our school system,” Giardina said. “Then once the pilot process is finished, we will have a protocol written so that every school administrator and school clerk will know what to do.”
The system also logs the visitor’s name, address and driver”s license number into a database, which Giardina said will help with keeping up with volunteer hours and assisting with custody issues.
“If we have custody papers, we can log it into that system, and it will automatically pop up in the event that a noncustodial parent would try to pick a child up,” she said.

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