Sumter High is one of the first in the state with new security system
English teacher, Luther Barnett says he understands that student safety is the number one priority.
Principal Dana Fall says he hopes this system will spread throughout the district.
Senior, Walker James says the system ensures safety while also making it easy to sign in to class.
By: Chuck Ringwalt
School shootings seem to be occurring at an alarming rate in this country. FactCheck.org reports there have been more than 30 school shootings since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut in 2012.
Sumter high school is trying something new in hopes to avoid these situations. The school started requiring students at the high school to swipe identification cards as they enter the building and their classrooms in March.
"Anything you can do to make sure students are safe is a bonus. Obviously, we want to educate them, but we want to make sure they get out of school alive," said English teacher Luther Barnett.
The school partnered with ScholarChip, a company that specializes in multifunctional identification cards. Each card sends an alert to the computer system, letting administrators know who is in the building and where they are.
Safety is a major concern for schools all across America. Emergency situations put pressure on administrators to do everything they can to promote security. The Sumter school administrators say this system helps to ease that pressure.
"It gives me a piece of mind because like I said if something was to happen I know everyone that's in our building," said Principal Dana Fall.
Student's are not the only ones to use ID's. All visitors must have their driver's licensed scanned. The information will be run through the National Sex Offender Registry list and if you are cleared, they will be printed a ticket and you will be allowed to enter the building.
Safety is the number one priority, but Fall also says that the system is a powerful way of making sure students are on the right track and staying out of trouble.
"If they're in the hallway and they're not supposed to be an administrator can tap it on the iPad type devices and it shows their schedule so we can get them to the right place," said Fall.
About 95 percent of students remembered to bring their ID's on the first day of the program. Walker James is a senior who says this system makes him feel more secure and it also makes it easy to sign into class.
"I think it's pretty cool. You just scan your ID instead of having to be signed in every day first block. As soon as you sign in it's automatically in the system as you're here, we know where you are and that's a big thing to me," Walker said.
This new ID program is not foolproof, but hopefully it will stop the unthinkable from happening. In the future, the school hopes to implement the program district-wide, allowing them to install it into the bus system to make sure all students can be accounted for at all times.