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Suburban school requires background checks for visitors

January 23, 2013 3:16:52 PM PST
Since the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, schools around the country have been exploring ways to tighten security.

A school in the Chicago suburbs is requiring visitors to undergo a background check.

If you plan to visit a school in Frankfort School District 157-C, bring a driver's license or state ID.

If not you won't get in because identification is needed for a background check.

"What we are trying to do is that anybody in the building has a purpose once in the building," superintendent Dr. Thomas Hurlburt said.

The district recently installed a new system that quickly checks for a visitor's criminal background via a national database.

It all starts at the front door, where visitors must get buzzed in. Inside the office, IDs are put through this machine and within seconds, the background check is complete.

"It prints out a photo ID that a person wears so anybody knows this person is safe to be in building," Hurlburt said.

As first-grade teacher Karen Monaco found out, no visitor is exempt from the new system.

"I even noticed when we had our fireman the other day, he even had to go through the process of the sticker," Monaco said.

Monaco said the new system gives her an extra layer of protection and extra time in case of an emergency.

Parents are not complaining about handing over their drivers licenses for a background check so far.

"People with nothing to hide will have no problem with it," parent Anne Kiely said.

The new system is costing the district only about $2000.

While it might not stop another Newtown tragedy, parents say it will stop a tragedy.

"Hopefully it will keep our kids safe and if it deters one person then it is worth it," parent Tania Murray said.


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