HAYS, Kan. (KSNW) – If you’re planning to visit any Hays public schools, make sure you have a driver’s license or government ID on you.
The new visitor check-in system does a background check on the visitor’s ID, which includes running the name through a nationwide registered sex offenders list.
The Hays High School principal said the feature takes the guesswork out of who’s walking into their school.
“I don’t know what a sex offender looks like, but a computer can identify them,” said Martin Straub. “I don’t think we should make any rash judgments on people, but when it’s in a system, a database that the government has, then we can approach those people quietly, privately.”
The new system can also let staff create a list of unwanted visitors to protect not only students, but staff members as well.
“If there are restraint warrants or restraint orders to keep people away from other people, we can put those names in there manually,” said Straub.
If staff get an alert after running the ID, administrators are told to talk to the visitor in private. If no alert shows up, the visitor is given a badge that expires after 12 hours.
The entire system cost around $9,000 and it was funded by a grant. Straub said it was money well spent.
“We have a huge responsibility to keep, not only our kids, but our staff safe, and I think this is just one small tool that helps us do that,” said Straub. “School safety is the most important thing we can do for our kids and their families.”
School officials at Hays High told KSN, since the installation, no visitors have popped up on the registered sex offenders list and no one has been added to the unwanted visitors list.