School Gate Guardian is a visitor registration system that enhances school security by retrieving data from a visitor's state-issued ID. The information is then compared with information from several databases including the registered sex offender database and a locally stored database created by the district that could include parents or guardians with custody issues, restraining orders, or visitors that have been deemed a threat to students and staff.
What will happen when a visitor enters the school?
The visitor will hand a state-issued identification card to a Bald Eagle Area staff member, who will scan the ID card through a card reader. The reader will gather necessary information from the license.
The information will then be run through a sexual offender database, and a district-maintained database. If no matches are found, the staff member will print a visitor badge that includes the visitors name, photo, reason for visit and location of visit. The badge is self expiring, meaning that within 12 hours of printing, a red stop sign will bleed through to the front of the badge. This prevents the visitor from keeping their badge and attempting to use it for future visits. If the visitor appears in the sexual offender database, a pop-up message will discretely appear on the computer screen. Staff members have been trained in how to handle this situation.
Upon completion of the visit, the visitor will return to the office to scan the barcode for exit and return their badge to a staff member.
Why has the Bald Eagle Area School District decided to implement this type of system?
Student safety is one of our highest priorities and computerized visitor management systems are now recognized as a school security best practice.The School Gate Guardian System can provide a consistent stream of information for tracking unwanted visitors in any of our facilities. In the unlikely event an incident does occur, police and other authorities will have access to these electronic visitor logs which have a photograph of the visitor as well as a date and time stamp of their entry and exit times.
What information is the School Gate Guardian retreiving from my Photo ID?
The only information required to perform the proper searches are the first name, last name, date-of-birth and the photo of the visitor. Any other information on the ID is ignored by the system. None of this data will be shared with any other company or organization other than law enforcement and this will only occur in the event of an incident.
Does every visitor who enters a facility go through the screening process?
Yes. All first-time visitors entering the front entrance at any school facility will be scanned by the School Gate Guardian System. The system does recognize return visitors and the option will be given on a time sensitive basis if another scan is necessary. The ability also exists to provide key passes for frequent visitors. These visitors, upon entering the building, will scan their key pass under the barcode reader. Their information, including a photo, will appear on the computer screen for a staff member to verify identity and print a badge.
Does the Bald Eagle Area School District have the right to require visitors and parents to produce a state-issued ID before entering school facilities?
Yes. We need to be certain who the visitors to our schools are, what the purpose of their visit is, who they are here to see, and if they have the authority or the right to have access to our facilities and students. We can only do this by performing the appropriate checks.
If a positive match does occur indicating a visitor is a registered sex offender, what procedures have the staff members been trained to do?
There are over 700,000 registered sex offenders in this country. A parent or relative of one of our students may be deemed a registered sex offender. This person does have the right to conduct business on school property, but our staff members have been trained to analyze each situation and always have the ability to bring in one of their superiors to provide guidance as to the appropriate response. The system does show a positive match in a discreet and silent fashion so these instances can be handled as discretely as possible to avoid any embarrassment to the individual, if they are deemed an appropriate visitor. In the event they are not deemed appropriate to enter, our staff has been trained to remain calm, ask the visitor to take a seat, and seek immediate help from other district personnel or law enforcement officials.