Pine Tree School Uses New Safety Software For Sex Offenders - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/15/07-Longview

Pine Tree School Uses New Safety Software For Sex Offenders

New safety software is making its way to East Texas schools. It's called V-Soft and it runs a visitors' driver's license through a sex offender database, making the school aware of just who is roaming their campus. Already, Pine Tree High School in Longview is using the system and it could very well be the technology every school should have.    

"Welcome to Pine Tree High School, can I have your driver's license please?" says the receptionist.

With just those words, administrators now know exactly who is visiting their campus.  That's because this little machine costs a mere 1,700 dollars and actually tells them if a visitor is a registered sex offender.

"That's a small price to pay for the safety of our kiddos in regards to the sex offenders and we felt like just being able to implement this was just one more step in our means to ensure the safety of kids," says Pine Tree High School Principal Jason Mixon.

The way it works is: a visitor gives the receptionist their driver's license, she then scans it through a small slot machine and it checks it against a registered sex offender list, telling her if they are a sex offender or not. Once that's done, it prints out a pass for the visitor to wear on campus.

If a person pops up as a sex offender, then Principal Mixon personally escorts them around campus.   

"We want them to be able to handle their business, if they're here for the right reasons, if they're here for the wrong reasons, obviously, I'm aware of it, and hinder that from happening," says Mixon.

And it's putting both students and parents at ease.

"It makes me feel a lot more comfortable with walking around school and knowing that people that are here are supposed to be here," says student Brock Dixon.

"As a parent with a child in the school, I'd like to feel like they're as safe as they can be in that school and I think that this software will help with that," says parent Roxanne Allen.

Principal Mixon understands sex offenders have rights too, he just wants to be aware rather than take any chances.

Tatum ISD is in the works of installing the V-soft system at their campuses as well.  An interesting thing to note, the program also checks the name against a district-wide ban list.

If a person does not have driver's license, then Principal Mixon escorts them around campus regardless.

Tracy Watler/Reporting: tracy@kltv.com

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