Visiting a Souderton school? You'll need a background check

Author: , Reporter, BKoltnow@wfmz.com
Published: Nov 22 2013 06:11:21 PM EST   Updated On: Nov 22 2013 07:20:02 PM EST

Keeping kids safe. It's the main goal of every school.

Now a Montgomery County school district is using technology to help safeguard the school.

Anyone wanting to get into the halls and classrooms of Salford Hills Elementary School near Souderton, Montgomery County has to produce an ID or driver's license, which is then scanned and fed into a database for registered sex offenders.

It's called the Raptor System.

School Secretary Judi Landis says the process takes about a minute. If you're clear a printed badge pops up. But if the system triggers a hit, Landis would see a big red box on the screen.

"Obviously, if there is an offender we will not let them come into the building," Landis said.

Each school in the Souderton Area School District uses it.

"Safety is one of the important responsibilities. The raptor system allows us to add that extra layer of safety," Salford Hills Principal David Purnell said.

The program can also check for felonies, restraining orders, custody issues, but as of now Souderton is strictly using it to guard against sexual predators.

Mother of three and President of the Home and School Association, Carrie Stankus, says the system has the full support of many parents.

"Parents were putting it on Facebook, and how they thought it was great way to protect students and us as parents," she said.

"We're able to understand who is walking through that door and be able to make decisions based on that information,"Purnell added.

Information and decisions that could protect our most precious resource.