Increasing Scrutiny of Teacher Background Checks May Force Change in Policies, Comments CriminalBackgroundRecords.com

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Recent headlines indicate an increasing scrutiny regarding background screening policies for educators, specifically teachers, with daily contact with children. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of CriminalBackgroundRecords.com comments: “Background screening policies for educators have come under fire due to a perceived lack of thoroughness and, subsequently, utilizing a third-party background screening company, specifically with non-public sector schools, should be a best practice in order to implement the most thorough and aggressive background screening program.”

Criminal Background Records

Criminal Background Records

Protecting children in the classroom is one of the most important tasks facing educators and administrators and recent perceived weaknesses in screening policies has pushed legislators to review criminal background checks of teachers.

Protecting children in the classroom is one of the most important tasks facing educators and administrators and recent perceived weaknesses in screening policies has pushed legislators to review criminal background checks of teachers. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of CriminalBackgroundRecords.com states: “Utilizing a third-party background screening company is a best practice for vetting teachers, especially in non-public sectors, and recent headlines suggest that the time is now to review all pre-employment background screening policies for teachers and others that have daily contact with children.”

When one considers education schools are commonly broken into two types: traditional or non-traditional. Non-traditional schools such as for-profit pre-school, church based, or publically funded charter, are increasing in popularity and attendance.

From the National Center of Education Sciences website (no date provided) the increase in public charter schools:

During the most recent period from 2011–12 to 2012–13, the percentage of all public schools that were charter schools increased from 5.8 to 6.2 percent, and the total number of public charter schools increased from 5,700 to 6,100. In addition to increasing in number, charter schools have generally increased in enrollment size over time. (1)

Almeida states: “In non-traditional schools, such as public charter schools, the need for thorough and complete background screening becomes increasingly important. It is critical that children are protected and a thorough background check can greatly assist in that protection.”

Recent headlines have shown an increasing need for more thorough employment background checks.

In Wichita, Kansas recent investigations of misconduct have shown a need for heightened background screening. Legislators in that state are reviewing how policy can be altered in order to provide greater protection.

From KWCH.com (Feb. 24, 16):

Some Wichita parents said districts should have access to investigations for potential teachers, even if there hasn't been an arrest. (2)

In Indianapolis, Indiana policymakers are reviewing screening practices to ensure individuals cannot slip through potential shortcomings with background checks.

From a recent investigation by the Indy Star and USA Today (Feb. 25, 16) reviewing the potential change in confidentiality agreements as related to teachers:

Concerns over confidentiality agreements arose following the case at Park Tudor School, where former basketball coach Kyle Cox entered into such an agreement but is now charged with coercing a 15-year-old student to send him explicit images.

The bill would make new or amended confidentiality agreements after June 30 not enforceable against a school if an employee commits a verified case of child abuse or neglect. (3)

Note: Case Number 1:16-mj-0096 - US District Court, Southern District of Indiana, United States of America v Kyle Edward Cox

Almeida comments: “Working with a third-party background screening company is a best practice for non-traditional and, in certain cases, traditional schools to utilize. Based on heightened legislative scrutiny, a third-party employment screening company can provide the most accurate and current information required to make a hiring decision and is well suited to remain fully compliant with changes in laws and regulations governing the fair and proper use of personal information utilized in background screening.”

CriminalBackgroundRecords.com is a third-party background screening company. With a highly trained staff, CriminalBackgroundRecords.com can help schools, both traditional and non-traditional, stay fully compliant with the legal and lawful use of personal information utilized in the teacher vetting process.

Notes:
(1)    nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=30
(2)    kwch.com/news/local-news/KBI-Director-suggests-district-background-check-improvements/38176036
(3)    indystar.com/story/news/education/2016/02/25/proposal-strengthen-teacher-background-checks-advances/80924118/

Criminal Court Case: ibj.com/ext/resources/IBJ-Daily/00-2016/02-February/Cox_Complaint.pdf

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