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Education: Facial recognition worth testing at schools | News, Sports, Jobs | #schoolsaftey

Though the school year is winding down, state officials are making preparations for next year with the addition of another layer of safety in four counties. Doddridge, Marion, Putnam and Taylor counties are having installed new facial recognition technology.

“What this software does is it provides schools with an additional layer of security,” Jonah Adkins, director of PK-12 Academic Support at the state Department of Education, told the state Board of Education, according to a report by WV MetroNews. “They can enter the faces of all their staffs, their students and well-known visitors and then it sends administrators an alert if an unwanted person were to approach the door or anywhere on campus.”

During the meeting, Adkins talked about possibilities including creating a database of sex offenders or someone who has made a threat toward the school.

“If that person gets near the school, immediately that administrator gets an alert,” he told the board.

That sounds wonderful, but also raises lots of questions. One would suspect the four counties in which the kinks will be worked out will have plenty of notes for state officials.

And, of course, it is a shame those state officials have reached the point of having to come up with as many measures as possible to keep our kids safe while they learn. But that is the reality. As those implementing the statewide school safety plan work to reach goals such as ensuring quick law enforcement response time and that every public school follows the same safety protocols, this new camera system may prove an important tool.

Should state officials deem it works well and is worth the money for the software, county boards of education across the state should work to bring it to their own facilities.

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