Parents at several Seattle public schools are upset after learning that a sex offender had been employed and walking the halls at several local schools for nearly a decade.
In response to the school custodian case, Teresa Wippel of Seattle Public Schools said Thursday that all necessary background checks are done when a person is hired. But until now, only employees like teachers, counselors and nurses were checked. That is to change now.
“Parents basically put their kids in our care every day,” she said. “And for us, it is absolutely something that we take so seriously. If we have any indication somebody shouldn’t be around children, we will make sure they are no longer with the kids, but again we have to be able to know that first.”
State School Superintendent Randy Dorn is now requiring all school employees to be background-checked every quarter. “The instant this mistake was brought to my attention, I took action. Parents need to know that when they send their kids to school they will not come in contact with adults who could cause them harm,” he said.
The audit also found 11 sex offenders had been living in state-regulated care homes with children present, and another 14 sex offenders were found living in unregulated homes without notifying the state. There were also three other cases of sex offenders being found living in homes they should not have been.
As a result of the information, workers were fired and licenses were pulled. No kids were harmed in any of those cases.
In the future, the departments of Early Learning and Social and Health Services promise to check addresses four times each year to make sure no registered sex offenders are working with children or vulnerable adults.
This article originally appeared on q13fox