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Background checks for visitors at Maryville City Schools

(WVLT)
Published: Aug. 1, 2018 at 6:12 PM EDT
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Wednesday was the first day of school for Maryville City Schools. All seven schools have a new security system.

When it comes to school safety, parents said they want their kids to be safe.

"There's no number," said Dan Sinclair, whose son goes to Maryville High School. "It's the most important thing."

East Tennessee native Dan Sinclair has a son attending Maryville High School. He and the Maryville City Schools Director Mike Winstead have the same wish, keeping students safe.

"We're excited," said Mike Winstead, who is the director of Maryville City Schools. "We have our board approved purchasing and visitor screening program for all 7 campuses."

Staring in the 2018-2019 school year when a visitor wants to come into the building, he or she will have to go through an extra security measure.

A kiosk will take your picture, scan your driver's license, and run a background check. It only takes about a minute.

"In that minute it's running a background check of that person's information across all the databases, sexual predator databases, across the country, state and federal," said Winstead.

The school's director says this is the only way to get into the school. You go through a kiosk that will allow you into the main building.

You might be concerned about getting a background check, but the school's director said privacy won't be an issue.

"Our campus', they're all neighborhood schools, even the high school sits in the middle of a neighborhood," said Winstead. "We want that culture and that welcoming, that feelings, to continue."

The goal is to add another layer of security to guard the kids.

Parents are happy with the new system.

"I think it's awesome," said Sinclair. "Definitely makes you feel more secure as far as who's coming in the building."

Maryville City Schools added 3 more school resource officers. They have a total of 4 between the 7 schools.

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