by Michael Klazema
When you entrust your child into the hands of educators, you probably assume those employees are upstanding citizens without criminal histories. If your child goes to school in Kansas though, you could be wrong. Although high standards for education and background checking has been initiated for teachers in most states these days as a result of No Child Left Behind, teachers who were already in the education industry were grandfathered into the system with the earlier, less strict requirements. That means they have not undergone any kind of background investigation to make sure they haven’t committed any crimes, including crimes against children.
The Topeka Capital Journal reports that approximately 40,000 teachers in Kansas have not been checked. Due to increasing sex abuse crimes in schools, parents and state education board members are concerned about this number. The Director of Teacher Education and Licensure is pushing for the fingerprinting of all teachers. Additionally, she would like to see teachers getting background checks every time their teaching license is renewed, which is every five years. Some are unhappy about the proposal, claiming it to be an invasion of privacy, but because it deals with the safety of children, it’s likely to pass.
While fingerprinting might be a good first step, it doesn’t necessarily catch potential all threats. Most people are fingerprinted when they are arrested, and the FBI database then relies on the court to provide updates as the case moves forward. But those updates are not guaranteed, and neither is the timing of those updates leaving questions about conviction or dismissal status. Organizations like schools, that have such important jobs, should make sure they’re using criminal databases that are extensive and constantly updated and can automatically be monitored for updates. After all, if catching criminals before they affect children in schools is really a priority, why wait to check backgrounds every five years, when Ongoing Criminal Monitoring can be performed by background check companies who could then alert them immediately of any criminal activity among their teachers?
source : backgroundchecks