• LobbyGuard system used by CMS prevents sex offenders from working at schools

    By: Gina Esposito

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Charlotte-Mecklenburg School officials said the LobbyGuard system flagged and prevented a registered sex offender from being around children at Cornelius Elementary School.

    CMS officials said they were alerted after a worker with Nightowl Contractors, hired for electrical work at the school, went to sign in.

    Any visitor, including parents, have to scan their IDs when they walk into the school.

    Their information runs through the national sex offender registry.

    Students weren't at school when the worker was escorted off school property.

    The school's principal sent this message to parents: "This is Jessica Holbrook, the principal of Cornelius Elementary. I want to let you know that monitoring the safety of our children is our first priority. All individuals who come to campus must sign in through our LobbyGuard system. With that in mind, I want to inform you that this morning an employee of a contractor who reported for work at our school, signed into the LobbyGuard system. The system detected the person as a registered sex offender and flagged them. Police were notified immediately and the person was escorted off campus. The person was not around students. If you have any questions, please call 980-343-3905. Thank you for your partnership and support of Cornelius."

    Vanessa Edwards, who works as a substitute teacher at the school, wonders if CMS should do a better job screening its contractors.

    “Maybe check out the companies before they hire them? Other than the LobbyGuard. I don't know what they can do,” Edwards said.

    Last week, Channel 9 learned a contractor working for Johnson's Roofing was flagged as a sex offender at Steele Creek Elementary.

    The LobbyGuard system has been a critical tool at CMS for the past four years.

    It's another safeguard for the school system because state law and CMS already require contractors to conduct an annual check of the state sex offender registry and public protection registration program, the state sexually violent predator registration program and the national sex offender registry.

     

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