Will check backgrounds of game officials -
Dr. Donna Wright, director of Wilson County Schools, announced Friday morning that the school system joins Williamson County schools in screening sports officials effective immediately.
"Student safety is paramount in the Wilson County School District," Wright said. "With approximately 17,000 children in its care every day, the district employs a comprehensive array of measures to keep school plants safe and prevent student access by treacherous individuals."
Chuck Whitlock, director of school health and athletics, said, "Until the TSSAA can ensure that all of its officials have been background checked, Wilson County's Athletic directors and bookkeepers will use the district's Raptor system to screen game officials effective immediately."
Whitlock said the system's schools' officials will be contacting officials asking them to arrive earlier than normal prior the next game they are to officiate to be screened at the schools.
Raptor is an enhanced school security system that went into effect at the beginning of the current school year in every school and Central Office. It allows administrators to quickly conduct an instant background check, screening for registered sex offenders from all 50 states and U.S. territories.
Whitlock said game officials will need to go to the office of each school and be screened by presenting a government-issued photo ID to a front office employee for visual verification and scanning by the Raptor scanner.
Once the ID is scanned, the visitor's first name, last name and date of birth are instantly and automatically checked.
Whitlock said he anticipates the TSSAA background check will go much deeper and will be conducted by the TBI and/or FBI.
"Again, the safety of our students is paramount, and in light of the recent situations in surrounding districts, we feel we cannot wait until the TSSAA board meeting in November to take action to ensure our student athletes and all students are safe when attending sporting events," Wright said.