Safer Schools Through Public Records

Public Records Ensure Safer Schools

America's public school system has taken several nasty hits in recent years. Tales of corruption, of sexual relationships between students and teachers, and even horrible stories about school custodians murdering students on school property have raised more than a few red flags. Of course, America's schools have been slighted for many other reasons, as well, including a lack of quality education of our children. However, with the use of public records, the school system as a whole can help ensure that students are safe and that education quality improves. How can public records achieve such a massive change?

Public records provide an immense amount of information for school administrators. If you are such a person, these records are vital for your needs and provide you with the tools required to make sweeping changes within your area of influence. What can these tools help you accomplish? Public records offer you the chance to eliminate potential threats before they enter the school system, giving you the assurance that students are well cared for and safe. Here are just a few of the ways that public records can be of use in your position.

Threats from Teachers

One of the largest threats posed to students is not from criminals outside the school system, nor does it stem from drugs or even gang activity. It comes from the very teachers entrusted with the care and education of students. Most people are quite familiar with the rampant stories of sexual relationships conducted between teachers and students. The students are the unfortunate victims of these teachers' unnatural appetites. However, public records can help you catch these individuals before they begin teaching your students.

With public records, you will be able to accurately assess a teacher's criminal background. This is a very important point. Numerous teachers have been found within the US school system with warrants for their arrest, charges of drug use and trafficking, solicitation, child abuse, statutory rape, child molestation and even aggravated assault. Most of these teachers were marked by the court system before they were hired; however, no one bothered to check their criminal record. Public records give you, the school administrator, immediate access to this vital information.

Threats from School Employees

You will not have to deal only with threats from teachers on your watch. Custodians, lunchroom workers, librarians – they can all pose a threat to the wellbeing and safety of your students. Custodians and other employees have been found working within the school system who have serious criminal charges in their past, violent crimes like manslaughter among them. Others have committed crimes on campus – these include rape and murder. Obviously, it makes sense to vet any newly hired school employee with public records. This ensures that you are able to view their criminal record and make an accurate decision regarding the threat they pose to the students entrusted to your care.

Public records cans give you immediate access to the criminal past of anyone, which helps you ascertain if they pose a threat or not. This is undeniably important; you should conduct criminal record checks on existing employees on a regular basis, as well. While teachers and administrators can police the halls and the grounds to some extent, they cannot be everywhere. Custodians and other employees know this and can use it to their advantage to commit nefarious, malicious acts that bring your students to serious harm. Using public records helps ensure this does not become a reality within your school.

Unqualified Teachers

Part of the reason that the education system within the US is suffering so badly is due to inadequate teachers. While most teachers strive to provide their students with the education required to help ensure they have a good life, there are many others who simply do not care. While these teachers might have the credentials required to perform their job, a deeper look through public records will show disciplinary actions taken by previous schools, as well as other information that can indicate they are not a good choice for your classrooms.

Ensuring that you bring aboard only the highest quality, most caring teachers is important. Without the right commitment to providing students with the best education possible, your school will fail in its mission. You can prevent this from happening when you utilize public records to vet teachers. While this information will not be part of their criminal history, it will be reflected in their employment history. Signs to watch for include frequent changes in schools, disciplinary action (whether detailed or simply noted) and a history of complaints from students and parents.

The Administrator's Duty

As a school administrator, it is your responsibility to ensure that the students entrusted to your care are taught and protected. A caring, nurturing environment should be the goal of any school administrator. The best way to ensure that you accomplish this goal is to use public records during all hiring processes.

Of course, you should make use of public records during other times, as well. As stated previously, both teachers and other staff members should be routinely screened through public records. The number of schools that do not conduct ongoing criminal record checks is surprising – it also leads to dramatic problems when staff members are charged with crimes during their tenure at the school. Using public records on an ongoing basis will help ensure that you are aware of any new criminal activity on the part of your staff and able to take appropriate measures to ensure the security of your students.