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School board OKs background checks for entry
by Adam Elrod
aelrod@neighbornewspapers.com
August 21, 2013 02:05 PM | 2528 views | 5 5 comments | 59 59 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Those other than students and staff entering a Paulding County school will soon be required to go through electronic background checks before going past the front office.

The Paulding County School Board last week voted unanimously to purchase the visitor identification system Keep N Track from COMPanion Corp. Initial cost for the system is $54,978 with a $13,566 annual licensing fee beginning in the second year.

District 4 Board Member Richard Manous said, “I think we need all the security we can get.”

The system will complete a background check on anyone signing in to enter a school, said Don Breedlove, Paulding schools executive director for safety and athletics.

It will scan government-issued identification, such as a driver’s license, and complete the check in about 30 seconds, he said.

“It adds validity to our security measures,” Breedlove said.

Administrators will have constant access to the system through smart phones, computers and tablets to see who is in the school, when they checked in and when they checked out.

If a visitor who has a reason to be at the school has something show up on a background check, the person will have to talk to a school administrator before being granted access.

The district started looking at purchasing such a system in November 2012, Breedlove said. They have the system budgeted in the fiscal year 2014 budget.

All maintenance and updates will be done by the company, he said.

“This company has ‘24-7, 365’ tech support,” Breedlove said.

All the school system has to provide is the computer and Internet to run the software.

Currently Paulding schools use a system in which visitors can write any name with no quick way to verify the identification.

Breedlove said he hopes to have the system installed in all 34 schools this week, but has not set a start date because they will need to train staff and inform parents. They will post information on the district’s website, send home information and call parents, he said.

Manous said the district has to be proactive and not reactive.

“I don’t think it is going to be a hindrance,” Manous said.

In other action at last week’s meeting, the board voted to decrease the millage rate from 18.909 to 18.879. The rollback was done to avoid an increase in revenue because of the increase in the county tax digest, said Chief Financial Officer Steve Barnette.

“The change will only result in a decrease of approximately $79,000, of the district’s estimated $50 million in projected property tax revenue,” he said.

This is the sixth straight year the board has lowered property taxes for the operation and maintenance of the district.
Comments
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The truth
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August 30, 2013
I would assume that since background checks without consent are illegal the BOE would not put that into place. I simply called Mr. Breedlove and spoke to him. The system checks for crimes against children and sexual crimes. This information is public record. I say good job to the BOE in trying to implement a system that adds to school safety. Ask questions and seek the truth before you start posting in-accuracy.
Johnny Law
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August 28, 2013
Maybe I am wrong but according to Georgia state law, GBI and GCIC you have to have written consent to have a background check performed. No one can dessiminate criminal history information except the person that owns the history and that would be the criminal. You also can not dessiminate criminal history information by electronic means such as laptop, cell phones and tablets. It looks like the BOE needs to contact the GBI to avoid the sanctions on breaking the law.
America in crisis.
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August 26, 2013
I'm sure shooters will be stopping by the front office to check in before going on a rampage.
Concerned for Americ
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August 25, 2013
This is another level of parental intimidation and another branch of Common Core infiltration and data mine. One already has to show their drivers license there is no cause to do a background check on a parent who wants to see what is going on in the classroom, its a way to keep you out.
school employee
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August 28, 2013
We have enough problems getting parents to get involved with their children's education. We need all loving parents to be involved, even the parents, that paid their time for their crime. Not to mention, it is a violation of our rights.
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