Schools Across the Country Re-Evaluating Background Checks

By Michael Klazema on 1/4/2012

Since the Penn State coach scandal, there has been a rush nationwide to reform and re-evaluate the way schools are conducting background checks on all of their employees. The truth is, some schools and schools districts just do not do complete background checks on those who are employed with them including teachers, administrators, support staff and of course, coaches. Those school districts that do run background checks on their employees do not run a complete national criminal background check, or only do local state checks. This is likely not enough to get a complete understanding of someone’s criminal background.

It is extremely important for parents to know that their children are safe at school and that the people who are overseeing them have been properly screened to ensure they do not have any serious criminal felonies in their backgrounds including assault, sexual crimes, or any other crimes that would disqualify a person from working with or supervising children. Limiting a search to the school’s state may not be enough to show school official and parents the full picture when it comes to employees of the school district in question.

Opponents of these re-evaluated background check policies say that it is important to note that even if a school employee goes through and passes a police criminal background check, this does not mean they have a clean record or that they are necessarily a good person. Proponents of the new policies on background checks state that this is true, but the odds of a person committing a crime against children with no criminal background are lower.

The question will always be asked if a background check could have prevented harm to a child any time one of these crimes are committed. Hiring companies like can make it easier for school officials to run extensive background checks on their employees and take the steps needed to protect children in their schools from criminals. Products like Ongoing Criminal Monitoring can even  let school officials know if current employees are involved in new criminal activity during their tenure at the school after they pass their first pre-employment background check.

 About - a founding member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) - serves thousands of customers nationwide, from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies by providing comprehensive screening services.  Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, with an Eastern Operations Center in Chapin, S.C., is home to one of the largest online criminal conviction databases in the industry. For more information about backgroundchecks’ offerings, please visit

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