VISITING SCHOOL CAMPUS? Prepare for Check
AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IS USING A SYSTEM TO RUN GUESTS' DRIVERS' LICENSES THROUGH A SEXUAL OFFENDER DATABASE.
By Stephen Hegarty, Times Staff Writer
LAND O LAKES, Florida:
Laurie Tifton strolled into the office at Lake Myrtle Elementary School ready to sign the visitor log so she could have lunch with her daughters.
But a signature isn't enough these days. She was asked to hand over her driver's license.
The license was inserted into an optical scanner at the front desk. A visitor's pass popped out of a tiny printer a few seconds later. The pass had Tifton's name, the time and date and a photographic image taken of her license.
In those same few seconds, Tifton's name and date of birth were run through a database of sex offenders in 46 states!!!
Nothing matched, so Mrs. Tifton headed toward the cafeteria to surprise her daughters with lunch from a nearby burger place.
Lake Myrtle Elementary is the first school in the Tampa Bay area to embrace the newest wrinkle in the business of trying to make campuses safe.
It's called V.Soft, which stands for Visitor Student or Faculty Tracking.
It creates a combination visitor pass and photo ID that links to the sex offender database.
The technology comes from a Houston company called Raptor Technologies, which has signed up with hundreds of schools in various states.
Presently, there is no law prohibiting laborers with criminal histories from working on school campuses. But at many schools, including Lake Myrtle, principals try to make sure visitors, volunteers and workers check in at the office as they come on campus.