What is Fast Pass and Why Are So Many People Angry About?

FAST-PASS is a computerized visitor management system that the city wants to pilot at Fairchild Wheeler High School— It’s also a hot topic these days, drawing quite the upset crowd of parents and community members at last Tuesday’s regular Bridgeport Board of Education meeting.

More than one speaker at last week’s meeting took this to mean that FAST PASS would somehow lead to parent arrests. For example, many thought that if a parent with a warrant walked into the school to visit their children they would be arrested on the spot.

This wouldn’t be the case at all.

In fact, “no schools have ever used FAST PASS to run full criminal background checks on visitors to schools.” The system is mostly used to flag sex offenders coming into school buildings.

More importantly, according to Sisco representative Howard Green, the board has full authority to determine visitor policy. It’s the board that decides who can enter a school building, not the computer system.

Here’s some other facts presented at last week’s board meeting:

– Visitor data is stored on the school district’s servers. It will not be collected by the city or state. The board will determine how long data is stored on their serves.

– There’s a manual override if a parent doesn’t have Identification, so a visitor’s pass can be printed even if a person comes in without a driver’s license.

– The school district currently has three units, each costing $7,000.

– The FAST PASS system is being funded through the state security grant.

More information about the FAST PASS system will also be presented at Wednesday’s Community forum sponsored by the board’s community engagement committee



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