Muskogee adds safety measures for 13-14 school year

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Story by: Janai Norman
Updated: 8/16/2013 9:36 am Published: 8/15/2013 9:49 am

School started for students in Muskogee Thursday, and with the new year comes new security measures.

The district’s chief of Police, Dan Hall, talked with FOX23 News at Muskogee High School.

Hall says measures were already in place, for example a gatekeeper monitors who comes onto and who leaves school property because after 8:20 a.m. every day, he says the high school becomes a closed campus. That’s just the first layer of security in the new school year.

FOX23 found out all elementary and secondary schools, plus the board of education, will have Lobby Guard Systems.

“It works as a visitor management system and a background check system for anyone visiting our schools,” Hall explained.

The system worked by scanning the barcode on your driver’s license or ID card. It then asked you to verify your name, birthdate and takes your picture.

“It goes through a database and tell us if you’re registered sex offender or a violent offender,” Hall said. “Then it also will email the teacher you’re here to see or the principal and let them know you’re here.”

Mark Walters, the district’s president of support employees says, “It’s better to be proactive than reactive.”

Walters explain it’s not just visitors who will be required to show ID—students who ride the bus will also have to.

“To make sure the kids that are supposed to be on the bus, that’s who they are and not somebody that’s trying to hop on the bus that’s maybe not even a student in the school system,” he says.

We found out it’s happened before, “a couple times,” according to Walters.

He says bus drivers get to know the younger students by name, but with older students it’s more difficult.

“There’s many kids, new kids and sometimes kids may only ride the bus a couple times, so it’s hard to know them.”

According to Walters, it will be 7th grade bus riders and up who must have a badge. If they forget it at home, he says they can’t get on the bus.

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