Beth Gilchrist reaches for a visitor pass printout Thursday at the front desk of Craig Middle School. Visitors coming into the school now have to have their driver’s license scanned through a program called RAPTOR before being permitted onto the premises.

Photo by Shawn McHugh

Beth Gilchrist reaches for a visitor pass printout Thursday at the front desk of Craig Middle School. Visitors coming into the school now have to have their driver’s license scanned through a program called RAPTOR before being permitted onto the premises.

Craig Middle School taking extra measures

RAPTOR visitor screening system piloted at school

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Each day, Craig Middle School secretary Beth Gilchrist watches visitor after visitor walk by the glass window of her office.

Teachers, students, district employees and parents pass back and forth through the school’s front doors, which are unlocked by a button behind Gilchrist’s desk.

Gilchrist said she recognizes almost everyone, but that doesn’t stop her from requesting and scanning the driver’s license of each parent and visitor who comes through the door.

As part of a new security system at CMS called RAPTOR, Gilchrist scans each license or state-issued identification through a system that matches names to a database of sexual offenders and prints an electronic visitor’s badge.

“It’s a little frustrating because I’ve lived here forever,” Gilchrist said. “I know 98 percent of them, or babysat for them or babysat for their dad.

“It’s unsettling to know that we have to feel worry that people are going to come in and hurt our kids.”

Gilchrist began piloting the security program Feb. 16, and sent a letter home to parents informing them of the new procedures.

She said she hasn’t heard any negative feedback from parents, though many have to go back to their cars to retrieve their licenses.

“So far, there hasn’t been anyone who hasn’t readily turned over their license,” Gilchrist said.

District officials have plans to expand the RAPTOR program into the rest of the schools, but do not know when that program expansion will happen.

All six schools in the district are equipped with card scanners and computer software, which cost about $12,000 and was paid for by a 2007 bond issue.

A recurring cost of about $3,000 per year will be added to the district’s operating expenses for access to the database.

But CMS Vice Principal Jill Hafey said there’s no price for student safety.

“Parents ensure their kids safety when they drop them off here,” she said. “We just do our very best. I think it’s been going very smoothly so far.”

She said there has been some fear around the school prompted by a Feb. 23 shooting at Deer Creek Middle School in Littleton.

Two children were wounded before a teacher tackled the shooter — a former student — and forced him to the ground.

Although the shooter had been in the school earlier in the day, the shooting occurred outside and after school.

Hafey said RAPTOR could not have prevented an occurrence like the one that occurred in Littleton, but the new software can be useful in several instances.

“Just to keep track of who is coming in and out of the building,” Hafey said. “We’ll at least have a paper trail.”

So far, two driver’s licenses have presented matches to sex offenders in the database, but both were false alarms.

Although there was concern among faculty and students about the possibility of a dangerous stranger entering the premises, Gilchrist said the thought doesn’t keep her awake at night.

“Yes, it’s certainly possible everywhere,” she said. “But I’m not going to live in a fortress. A lot of it boils down to the kids, and if they see someone who’s not supposed to be there, they go and tell someone and not try to confront them themselves.

“I’m sorry that we live in a day and age where we have to worry.”

Comments

Anitadunnce 4 years, 9 months ago

Hmmmm. I'm curious. Since illegal alien parents do not have American drivers licenses (unless, of course, they have stolen some American's identity, which happens plenty in this country in which neither of the major political parties appears to have any interest in protecting our southern borders), what does CMS do about allowing them into the school? What sort of identification do illegals have to show?

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Anitadunnce 4 years, 9 months ago

I posted a comment three days ago, and still I have no answer. I have three questions now:

a) How do illegal aliens, including parents of CMS students, gain access to the Middle School?

b) If illegal aliens possess stolen identities, and therefore phony Colorado drivers licenses, does the new machine kick those licenses out as phonies like the new machinery at the airports do?

c) If a "school visitor" is illegal, and/or the person provides CMS with a phony Colorado drivers license obtained via a stolen identity, does CMS call the Craig Police? If so, do the local police then turn the criminal over to ICE for holding prior to deportation?

Surely someone who is with MCSD must have the answers to the above questions. Please share!

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xrsareus 4 years, 9 months ago

Maybe they are trying to enjoy their spring break.

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George Robertson 4 years, 9 months ago

If it's taking so long to get your answer, perhaps you should go directly to those who would have the answer instead of expecting them read your posts on this forum.

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Anitadunnce 4 years, 9 months ago

NIMNOD: Yes, you may have a point there, but there are others who have this information, too. I was hoping to hear from some of them, i.e. a school visitor who was standing right behind an illegal who tried to get in, or a teacher who has heard something from one of her students whose illegal alien parent tried to gain access, or even another office employee who knows exactly what occurs. I also would not be surprised to learn that this exact issue has been raised at CMC faculty meetings. It has to have been discussed prior to parent-teacher meetings, don't you think? Anyway, I am curious to see whether anyone else responds. Thanks again, NIMNOD.

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GreyStone 4 years, 9 months ago

Anitadunnce,

Do you think it might be possible that some illegals may be using their Mexican government issued “matricula consular,” an official identity card, to obtain the necessary documentation to enter the school ? Not unlike any sophisticated terrorist or child molester might do.

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Anitadunnce 4 years, 9 months ago

GREYSTONE: You posted the following comment to me @11:11am on 3/12 in a different thread:

"Anitadunnce (Anonymous),

Yr a dope[ ]"

I will not respond to your recent post on this thread, GREYSTONE, as I don't find your comments to be mentally challenging. I would suggest that we ALL start to ignore rude comments by CindyLou and GreyStone, because it is clear that they are so starved for attention that they are like damaged children who prefer to get negative attention rather than no attention at all. I do not plan to give either of them the encouragement they seek to come onto these threads to attack Nancy, Rich, Austen, Ryan, me, or anyone else.

Whatever you post now will have to be the last word, because I have no intention of responding to you, Thom .... er..... I mean GreyStone.

As you are so fond of saying when you shut people down in every discussion, "I guess we will have to agree to disagree".

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peasandcues 4 years, 9 months ago

Ya know AnitaDUNCE all of the school shootings that have happened have been committed by legal, American citizens.

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Anitadunnce 4 years, 9 months ago

Okay, peasandcues, I confess that I am stymied. What does your post have to do with the price of tea in China? Your comment relates to the topic..... just HOW, exactly?

One possibility does occur to me, but I hope that I am wrong. Please tell me that you are not disclosing to the lawful American citizens of Craig that the Middle School is engaged in "racial profiling", i.e. that American citizens are I.D.'ed while illegal aliens, who cannot possess drivers licenses without having committed identity theft, are simply waived into the school!

If, by some wild chance, that is the point of your post, then I would think that the Colorado Attorney General, and ultimately the Colorado Supreme Court, might have some interest in this matter, wouldn't you?

Please, please, before the matter goes that far, peasandcues, just tell me that disclosure of "racial profiling" at the CMC is not your intended point here. (After all, WHO has ever heard of an illegal alien in our country commiting a crime involving drug trafficking, domestic violence, assault with a deadly weapon, kidnapping, or sex assault on a child, right? Uh-huh, right.)

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peasandcues 4 years, 9 months ago

I'm sure you are stymied, AnitaDUNCE. On the topic of racial profiling, which you immediately jumped to in your first post regarding this article; "Since illegal alien parents do not have American drivers licenses (unless, of course, they have stolen some American's identity, which happens plenty in this country ...interest in protecting our southern borders), what does CMS do about allowing them into the school? What sort of identification do illegals have to show?" and again in your most recent post; "After all, WHO has ever heard of an illegal alien in our country commiting a crime involving drug trafficking, domestic violence, assault with a deadly weapon, kidnapping, or sex assault on a child, right? Uh-huh, right." obviously shows your bias towards anyone who may be from beyond our "southern borders". Have you not noticed that other people, (GASP) - white people - LEGAL American citizens - may have "committed a crime involving drug trafficking, domestic violence, assault with a deadly weapon, kidnapping, or sex assault on a child." It seems you are only acknowledging the crimes committed by "illegals" and turn you head to those committed by "legals." Could this possibly be racial profiling?

As far as the questions you have to the procedures followed by Craig Middle School, have you considered calling them and asking them what they do in the case of a "stolen identity"? Maybe getting a straight answer from them would save you having to dream up some phony scenario.

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Anitadunnce 4 years, 8 months ago

peasandcues: Sorry, but I cannot even begin to wade through that mess that you recently posted. Please try some punctuation and paragraphing, and re-post. Then I won't have to waste so much time trying to ferret out your point(s). As soon as I understand what you are talking about, I will be happy to respond to you.

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peasandcues 4 years, 8 months ago

AnitaDUNCE: Of course you cannot begin to wade through the mess because they were your quotes. You cannot even recognize your own ranting. Don't bother responding. What you have to say is unimportant.

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Anitadunnce 4 years, 8 months ago

peasandcues: That last post of yours is off-topic and appears to be nothing more than an attempt to hijack this thread. I can easily imagine that if you did clean up the post that needs punctuation and proper paragraphing, so that it could be understood, we would find that there is no bona fide or relevant question for me contained therein in any event.

Why can't you address the issue, and other related issues that arguably may spring directly from it? It is beginning to appear to me that you just want to shut down all meaningful dialog, and your method of doing that is to turn on me. I have neither interest nor time for your goofy games.

In order to get YOU back on track, please remember that I am not the topic of this thread. The article was not written about ME, so personal attacks on me are irrelevant to the discussion.

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