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Valley News Dispatch

Kiski Area beefs up security for daytime school events

| Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018, 7:45 p.m.
Kiski Area East Primary School in Vandergrift is shown in this file photo from Wednesday, July 30, 2014.
ERIC FELACK | Trib Total Media
Kiski Area East Primary School in Vandergrift is shown in this file photo from Wednesday, July 30, 2014.

Kiski Area School District officials are tightening security for daytime school events in response to a resident’s concern.

Superintendent Timothy Scott said the district will asking for an extra police officer on days when members of the public come to the schools for events. Such events include “Doughnuts for Dads,” “Muffins for Moms” and Grandparents Day.

Scott said the district also will ensure that every person entering a building registers, knows exactly where they are supposed to enter and that they are not left alone to roam.

He said the district normally uses the Raptor system, which provides almost instant clearance for someone entering the building by running that person’s driver’s license through a scanner. But he said that isn’t practical when an event draws a large number of visitors.

“If you have 400 people coming in, we can’t Raptor everyone, but we have someone at the entrance and we have them sign in so that there is some contact with staff,” Scott said.

Scott added that if, for example, a student wants to show his or her grandparents their classroom following an event, it would have to be cleared by the district first. He said that is just another measure to make sure people are not wandering through the schools and unduly raising suspicions among staff.

“In this day and age, we need to know who is in the building,” Scott said.

He said he met with the district’s security committee, which includes school principals, to discuss the increased security measures on Monday.

“We wanted to make sure that everything we are doing is standard procedure across the district,” he said.

Scott said the district decided to take the extra security steps after a school board meeting last week when a resident questioned whether security was appropriate for daytime events.

“We’re always learning as these things come up,” board President Tamra Smail said. “It gives us the opportunity as a board to step back and look at the concerns of the public.”

Tom Yerace is a freelancer.

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