Criminal Records and Schools


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When you send your children off to school, the last thing on your mind is their safety in the classroom and while walking the hallways of the school.  However, according to expert studies, these fears should be at the top of your list.  The propensity for harm in the school environment is far higher than other worries that you might place farther up the list.  School bus accidents, gang activity, catastrophic accidents – all of these are far rarer than the number of incidents where harm has come to students from school faculty and staff.

The school faculty and staff onsite, including everyone from the principle to the teachers, the lunchroom workers and even the janitorial staff pose an amazing risk to the wellbeing of your child.  How is this, you ask?  According to recent studies, many members of the school faculty and staff are not even required to undergo criminal background checks prior to being hired.  In addition, even in school systems where this is a requirement, further criminal background checks are not performed.  What does this mean for your child?  How does this impact your child's future security?  Obviously, it puts them in great jeopardy.

As an example, in the state of California, a girl was raped and murdered by a school janitor, on school grounds when criminal background checks were not performed.  In another incident, a high school chemistry teacher was arrested for making and selling drugs to his students.  Yet another incident involved a teacher with an outstanding warrant, charges of stalking and aggravated assault, working hand in hand with preschool children.  The list goes on, providing a frightening insight into the lack of preparedness and proactive efforts on the part of the US school system as a whole.  Obviously, if these were isolated incidents, it could be chalked up to chance.  However, they are far from isolated.

In fact, the few schools that have taken it upon themselves to conduct criminal background checks on their employees and faculty members have received shocking results.  The number of teachers and employees with charges of heinous crimes, including manslaughter, working in the nation's schools is incredible.  These individuals include those charged with child abuse and molestation, as well.

Obviously, the US school system is incredibly lax in their vigilance and has put the nation's children at risk through their indifference to mandating criminal background checks.  However, the problem does not stop with the individual school systems, as most states and even the federal government do not require mandatory criminal background checks prior to hiring a new teacher or staff member.  California has taken steps in the right direction, as have some other states, but the problem remains unresolved.

What steps can be taken to help increase the security of the nation's children while in the school environment?  Aside from the fact that this situation should never have arisen, parents are urged to contact their school board and request information about what the school is doing in order to provide satisfactory criminal background checks of employees and teachers.  If the school fails to provide sufficient information concerning their efforts, parents can take matters into their own hands.  Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, criminal background checks can now be conducted by anyone.  These checks can be quite revealing, detailing criminal activity, charges pressed and any convictions present.  Of course, parents will need to know where to conduct such a search.

Most parents might consider the local or state courthouse as the place to begin criminal background checks.  However, the fact remains that these are not the right choice for the job.  For instance, local courthouses will only provide criminal records for crimes committed within that specific county.  As many teachers live in one county and work in another, this will obviously not provide comprehensive results.  In addition, even state records are limited in scope and do not include any crimes pressed in other states within the nation.  Therefore, a solution must be found that will allow parents and school administrators to conduct criminal background checks on a national level, without incurring high costs or forcing needless travel to far-flung courthouses.

A solution is actually at hand.  Thanks to the increasing need for criminal background checks, these records have been aggregated in the online environment.  This provides teachers, school administrators and parents with immediate access to criminal records, as well as other background information in a matter of minutes. Those concerned with increasing the safety of their children in the national public school system will find that online criminal background checks are the simplest, most affordable solution, particularly in light of a lack of government regulation in this area.

For anyone interested in ensuring the nation's children are not subject to rapists, child abusers, those with violent assault records and other factors, criminal background checks online are the most effective solution.