Dothan High Steps Up Security

By: Rayne McKenzie Email
By: Rayne McKenzie Email

The safety of students is always at the forefront of the minds of administrators at Dothan High School. Principal Andrew Sewell came on board just two years ago and brought with him plans to make students safer.

The latest technology is working to keep sex offenders out of the school.

Dothan High has more than 100 visitors to the school on an average day, and as you might imagine it's a tough job keeping track of everyone.

Now new technology is making it easier to keep records of who comes in the school, while at the same time checking visitors background to make sure they're safe to be around students.

Sharon Reeves is the first face you see when you walk into Dothan High School. Her job is to make sure visitors at the school are accurately accounted for before letting them into the classroom.

Reeves says, "On average, we receive more than 100 people, or other business, and for the safety of our students, we need some type of protection. It’s helped to slow the traffic for our school."

Now visitors not only have to get by Reeves, but they also have to check in through this machine. The new device screens visitors to see if they are a convicted sex offender, and alerts school officials immediately if one is detected.

Principal Andrew Sewell of Dothan High School said, "It's another way of protecting our young people, and that's what we're trying to do here. We also need to make sure when people are visiting, they're here for the right reasons."

Not only does the device serve to screen sex offenders, it also gives Reeves a chance to make sure angry parents are diverted to an administrator before making their way into a classroom full of students.

Reeves said, "This serves as a barrier to upset parents, and to give adequate safety for the students, so they put in information to make sure they can come and visit."

The device will also be used to check in students who arrive late and take pictures of every visitor who enters the school.

The system runs about $ 4,000 to 5,000. Right now, it's the only device of its kind in the Dothan school system.

The system is set to be fully implemented starting next week so if you're planning a visit to the high school, be sure to bring your driver's license.


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