The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools system is taking a closer look at employees. It comes after an investigation discovered a teacher had a criminal record.
Ralph Surridge is a drama teacher at Mineral Springs Middle School. He’s facing multiple charges including sexual offense with a student.
The school system says it did a background check when he was hired in 2002, and a felony embezzlement conviction didn’t show up in the search.
Now, they’re conducting additional background checks on school employees to make sure others didn’t fall through the cracks.
“It’s very disconcerting to us,” said Theo Helms with the school system. ”It bothers us a lot, just like it bothers many parents and for good reason. We believe this is an anomaly, but we want to be sure of that. We think we owe it to our staff, our students, our families.”
Up to 150 school employees were chosen at random for the criminal background checks. If school leaders find discrepancies from previous checks, they could require background checks for all 8,000 employees.