More than 6,000 schools are scanning visitors against a national sex-offender database, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. Officials describe the scanning devices as yet another layer in an increasingly dense web of security measures in their schools, on top of cameras, 24-hour guards, and criminal background checks on employees and regular volunteers.
Raptor Technologies Inc., the Houston company that makes the system, says it manages the flow of visitors and keeps track of their whereabouts. It also alerts staff to parents who are involved in custody disputes or subject to restraining orders. The company says its software identified 1,700 convicted sex offenders at schools last year. Lauren Taylor of the Pennsylvania Sexual Offenders’ Assessment Board said the idea that a molester would wander into a school to harm a child is “a very unlikely scenario.” It’s more important to thoroughly vet those who come in close contact with children, such as teachers, health-care workers, and janitorial staff.