Managing School Visitors

As a kid, I lived across the street from the school in sleepy Byron, Wyo. It was a wonderful community where everyone knew everyone’s business. Going to school was like going to church; adults could come and go as they wanted.

Times have obviously changed since then, at least as far as who may visit the school setting. A typical school has lots of visitors during any given day, including parents, vendors and volunteers, most of which are honest, hardworking, caring adults. But some aren’t.

Many schools share the same security challenges and goals of providing a safe, secure place for children. Every school needs a written, reviewed and practiced visitor management policy. For starters, there should only be one visitor entrance. Once classes begin, all doors should be locked and remain locked while students are in class.

To access a school, visitors should be allowed to enter a door leading only to the main office. They must be able to produce a government-issued ID, which would then be checked against an electronic visitor management database. This would check the visitor against FBI and state and local law enforcement files.

The visitor will then be issued a printed badge that includes an expiration date detailing when that person arrived and should also have the ability to indicate when that person had departed the campus. While this may seem a bit extreme, more than 40 states have enacted some form or version of the Lundsford Act, first enacted in Florida in 2005. Also known as Jessica’s Law, the act was passed soon after Jessica Lundsford was sexually battered and murdered by a previously convicted sex offender.

School security takes into account the mindset of “this won’t happen at my school.” It is a vigilant reminder that something bad can happen anywhere.

As for the schools in Byron, well, they have consolidated into a thriving campus, centrally located in Cowley, Wyo., where Superintendent Shon Hocker said the days of wide open doors are long gone. Visitors at the school enter at the front door into a vestibule where the school secretary performs a security check. Thus, school officials know exactly where the visitor is going and how long they will be on campus.

This article originally appeared in the January 2013 issue of Security Today.

About the Author

Ralph C. Jensen is the Publisher of Security Today magazine.

Featured

  • Maximizing Your Security Budget This Year

    The Importance of Proactive Security Measures: 4 Stories of Regret

    We all want to believe that crime won’t happen to us. So, some business owners hope for the best and put proactive security measures on the back burner, because other things like growth, attracting new customers, and meeting deadlines all seem more pressing. Read Now

  • Security Questions Persist After Attempted Assassination Attempt of Donald Trump

  • March Networks Expands Partnership with American Dairy Queen Corp.

    March Networks recently announced its selection as an American Dairy Queen Corporation (ADQ) approved supplier of video surveillance solutions for the DQ® system. This partnership marks a significant milestone in March Networks’ ongoing collaboration with DQ franchise owners since 2017, serving more than two hundred DQ restaurants across 13 U.S. states. Read Now

  • SIA Opens Nominations for 2024 “25 on the RISE Awards”

    The Security Industry Association (SIA) has opened the call for nominations for the second annual 25 on the RISE Awards– a program presented by SIA’s RISE community for emerging security leaders. Each year, this initiative honors 25 security leaders of today and tomorrow for their impactful contributions to advancing the security industry. Read Now

    • Industry Events

Featured Cybersecurity

Webinars

New Products

  • Automatic Systems V07

    Automatic Systems V07

    Automatic Systems, an industry-leading manufacturer of pedestrian and vehicle secure entrance control access systems, is pleased to announce the release of its groundbreaking V07 software. The V07 software update is designed specifically to address cybersecurity concerns and will ensure the integrity and confidentiality of Automatic Systems applications. With the new V07 software, updates will be delivered by means of an encrypted file. 3

  • Unified VMS

    AxxonSoft introduces version 2.0 of the Axxon One VMS. The new release features integrations with various physical security systems, making Axxon One a unified VMS. Other enhancements include new AI video analytics and intelligent search functions, hardened cybersecurity, usability and performance improvements, and expanded cloud capabilities 3

  • PE80 Series

    PE80 Series by SARGENT / ED4000/PED5000 Series by Corbin Russwin

    ASSA ABLOY, a global leader in access solutions, has announced the launch of two next generation exit devices from long-standing leaders in the premium exit device market: the PE80 Series by SARGENT and the PED4000/PED5000 Series by Corbin Russwin. These new exit devices boast industry-first features that are specifically designed to provide enhanced safety, security and convenience, setting new standards for exit solutions. The SARGENT PE80 and Corbin Russwin PED4000/PED5000 Series exit devices are engineered to meet the ever-evolving needs of modern buildings. Featuring the high strength, security and durability that ASSA ABLOY is known for, the new exit devices deliver several innovative, industry-first features in addition to elegant design finishes for every opening. 3