VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - All public schools in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake are raising the ante when it comes to security and preventing sex offenders from entering school buildings.
The technology by Raptor Technologies requires all visitors to present their driver's license, which will be scanned and checked against a national database of registered sex offenders. Visitors who are cleared get a printed sticker badge with their photo to wear while they are in the building.
"We want to send the message that Virginia Beach Public Schools is as concerned about your child's safety as you are. And I think this helps us do that," said Virginia Beach Superintendent Aaron Spence.
For Virginia Beach public schools, the cost for the technology is $110,000. Most of that cost is the initial purchase of equipment. The annual subscription costs $44,000, which breaks down to about 60 cents per student. A Mom of a 6th grader told News 3 as long as the costs were looked into, she's happy with the upgraded security efforts.
"As technology grows, as security safety concerns are important we need to evolve and we keep up with the times," said Karri Parrish.
A Mom of a 3rd grader told News 3 the new security features give her peace of mind.
"I always worry when she goes to school who is going to be around her, what kind of influences. Anything to make her safer and make me feel more secure sending her off to school," said Brittany Diaz.
If a sex offender is flagged, a school administrator and office of security are notified. If a sex offender is a parent of a student in that school, the administrator will handle it on a case-by-case basis.
"It's important for all parents to have peace of mind that nobody with that background is allowed to wander without supervision in the building. But we also recognize we don't want parents to not have an opportunity to conduct business that's important to them and their child," said Spence.
The system also tracks how long visitors are in the building and helps the school log volunteer hours.