Visitors, parents or anyone wanting to access any Tehachapi Unified School District campus beyond the front office soon will encounter a new security tool aimed at protecting students.
Raptor Visitor Management System will be used at every school starting Aug. 19. Staff will request government-issued identification or another official document that is scanned to check a sexual offender registry from all 50 U.S. states before a visitor is allowed.
“The students’ safety is our top priority,” TUSD Superintendent Stacey Larson-Everson said. “This is an extra layer of protection, but nothing else can replace each person being vigilant.”
The program will not check immigration status, a person’s financial background, or save the information and will be only implemented during regular school hours, added Larson-Everson. A letter issued to parents and guardians also said it will not check for any other criminal information.
Physical letters to parents on this new security tool will be sent home via students in kindergarten through eighth grade and sent in U.S. mail for ninth- to twelfth-graders. The letter can be accessed at the district’s homepage at: teh.k12.ca.us/Domain/4
After approval through the Raptor system, a badge will be issued to the visitor showing their name, the date and the purpose of the visit. Visitors who decline to participate will not be permitted entry to campus. A visitor badge will not be necessary for those who wish to drop off an item or pick up paperwork at the front office, the letter states.
TUSD board members approved the contract between Raptor Technologies and the district on May 7, for staff instruction, materials and a one-year access fee for all locations in the amount of $10,950.
“We hope that all adults using our system will understand it’s a necessary protection for the student,” said Sharon Heitman, principal at Jacobsen Middle School.