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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Questions about the new Raptor system?

Since the start of this school year, parents and visitors have been asked to scan their driver's licenses upon entering our schools. This might have been a surprise to some and hopefully, it was not too much of an inconvenience.

We have received several questions about the V-Soft Raptor system and would like to clear up a few questions that are out there.

#1 Is the Raptor system storing visitor's personal/private information? This is not the goal of the Raptor system. The system checks the visitor's information versus registered sex offender databases covering 48 states and Mexico. The single purpose of this system is to alert school administrators and Mansfield ISD Police to the fact that a registered sex offender is visiting one of our campuses.
#2 Isn't information about sex offenders private information? No. Records identifying sex offenders is very public and easily available to anyone with an Internet connection.
#3 I don't believe any sex offenders live in my area. Why should my school have this system? Information posted online by local law enforcement proves out that sex offenders live throughout our school district, and we are not unique in this fact.
#4 Why put Raptor on our campuses? The district responded to requests from parents who wanted a system like this installed. We do believe it further enhances the security of our students on our campuses, and have been pleased with its operation thus far.



















#5 What does the person at the front desk see on their screen after they scan my license?
An image is posted above(and on the District site) showing exactly what the front desk staff member sees.
They see: a photo(to verify a match), the name, a driver's license number and a birth date. Nothing more, nothing less.

As with any new system, there has been an initial adjustment period for campuses. So far, it has operated extremely well. If you would like to read more, the District Release is here and at the official Raptor site is here. Please feel free to post any comments below.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I like this system, mansfieldisd is doing a great job to protect our kids.

Question: Will the parents be notified that people are showing up on the sex offender list?

I ask because, if my child wants to go over a friends house and their parent(s) show up on the list. I would like to know that to decide if my child should visit unattended.

Communications Department said...

Mansfield ISD's only interest in this information is to screen access to our schools. Parents can search a public database of Registered Sex Offenders in Texas by visiting the Texas Department of Public Safety's Crime Records Service site at the following link - https://records.txdps.state.tx.us/DPS_WEB/Portal/index.aspx.

Anonymous said...

While I appreciate the idea of additional screenings to protect our children, I feel this system inadvertently alienates some parents from participation in their child’s education. As a working parent most of the face to face contact I have with my children’s teachers comes at morning drop off (both of my children are in elementary school). I do not go in the school daily, but I do like to visit at least once a week. Having to wait in a line of sometimes 30+ parents to get a visitor’s pass is not an option for me and other parents who have to be at work. I feel this system needs a few “tweaks” to be both safe but more convenient for parents. If there is a way to scan monthly and print a monthly pass, for example, it would free up valuable morning time. I’m not saying that this would be the solution, but it could be a jumping point for conversations that lead to more convenience for parents.

Communications Department said...

Thank you for your input. We are currently, and will continue to, look for any improvements to the process to make the process more convenient for regular campus visitors without compromising the original purpose of the screening system.

Anonymous said...

What is the cost to the district for these labels? It seems like the costs will add up rather quickly. Some parents are receiving multiple labels on a daily basis.

Communications Department said...

The cost is 30 cents per label. For comparison, this cost is very similar to the cost the district was spending on labels for the visitor check-in systems used at campuses last year. Admittedly, more visitors will be checked in under this system, but the district does not predict it to be a much larger expense.

Anonymous said...

I believe that the Raptor program is an excellent tool in safeguarding our children, if used correctly. Unfortunately, there is an elementary school in the Mansfield School District that not only scans your drivers license upon entering the building, they confiscate your drivers license. The drivers license is not returned to you until you return to the office to sign out. This campus policy has caused much anomosity as parents feel that they are not welcome and most of all not trusted to return to the office to sign out. While I believe that the Raptor program is awesome, I also believe that this campus principal's misuse of the Raptor program is demeaning and degrading and should cease asap. Volunteerism at the school has markedly decreased - volunteers simply do not wish to have their personal property held for ransom. I sincerely hope that changes will be made.

Communications Department said...

Thank you for sharing your comments. The campus listed above is Tarver-Rendon Elementary. Currently, the principal of each school is allowed some flexibility in exactly how they administer the system - as long as they are screening each individual entering the building.

Anonymous said...

The answer to question #1 didn't really answer the question - Is the Raptor system storing visitor's personal/private information? If the information is being stored, is it locally or at the Raptor site? Who has access to this information? How is personal information being secured?

Communications Department said...

This information is also available on the V*Soft Raptor Web site - www.raptorware.com , but here is their statement on privacy...

"Raptor Technologies, Inc. (Raptor) warrants that the confidentiality of data from our clients will be maintained according to all Federal and State laws, and any local policies that are communicated to us. Raptor acts as an agent and representative for the client in the storage, import, and/or analysis of data. Access to personally identifiable data will not be allowed for anyone other than Raptor staff directly responsible for the storage, import, and/or analysis of the data. Data will be provided by Raptor only to persons or entities authorized by the client. Data will be used by us only according to the terms of our signed agreements.
The data will be physically stored and backed up on servers either in secure Raptor offices in Houston, Texas or on servers co-located at an Internet service provider secured site.

When the project ends, data will be copied to storage media and returned to client or destroyed upon the client's request. No back-up or other copies will be maintained by us."

Anonymous said...

30 cents a badge seems rather high when you can by the same dymo badge for $12 to $14 for a roll of 250 badges which is between .04 cents and .06 cents per badge. No wonder they sell the system cheap they must be making a bundle on the reoccuring cost for the badges and other fees charged.

Anonymous said...

Will this system alert when a person or parent is NOT a sex offender, but does have a felony on his/her record? I thought about having my child's uncle coem visit him at lunch one day but knowing he does have a felony on his record which involves drunk driving when he was only 19 yrs of age.. I didn't want to embarrass him or cause a disruption to his day if that was the case. So I advised against it at the time! Any help on how this system works with this type of case?

Communications Department said...

To the latest question regarding the Raptor system: The system is designed to take the scanned I.D. and determine if the visitor is on multiple states' sex offender database.