Boston Prep School Hired Registered Sex Offender to Work with Children

By Michael Klazema on 2/8/2012

In Boston, the New England Conservatory has recently been under fire for hiring a registered sex offender and having this man on their staff for ten years. Peter Benjamin, who is a freelance videographer, has worked for the prep school by videotaping numerous concerts, performances and rehearsals involving the children of the school. When he was hired, he was not given a background check.

If Benjamin had been giving a criminal background check prior to being hired, it would have been noted that he had spent five years in prison in the 1990’s after being found guilty of sexually abusing teen boys. Though the school has a policy that prohibits the hiring of convicted sex offenders, Benjamin was able to slip through the cracks. He was hired on a freelance basis by the director of the youth philharmonic orchestra at the school Benjamin Zander. Zander would have been in charge of getting the background check done on Benjamin, something he failed to do. Zander has subsequently been fired recently for failing to ensure Benjamin had gone through a background check even though he know about Benjamin’s background.

What makes this even more troubling is not only was Benjamin not required to go through a background check ten years ago when he first started freelancing with the school, he was not put through a background check in 2010 when the school put in a firm policy about background checks for all of their volunteers, vendors and staff. In fact, besides Zander, school officials only found out about Benjamin’s background through an anonymous tip. Parents and the community, of course, were outraged and the school has received over 6000 letters of protest.

This is a situation that easily could have been avoided by ensuring that Benjamin had gone through a background check before being hired. Companies all over the US are upping the amount of background checks they give and with the help of companies like, they are able to stop potentially dangerous situations before they even have a chance to happen.  Though there are no accusations that Benjamin has done anything wrong since working for the school, the chance alone is too much for most people. has several products, like their US Offender OneSEARCH which could have told the school about Benjamin’s past instantly. Not only could it have given the school information on Massachusetts, it is able to search all fifty states.

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


Tag Cloud
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • December 04 Chicago Public Schools has dismissed hundreds of employees, coaches, vendors, and volunteers based on background check findings. The district recently vowed to re-check the majority of its 68,000 employees after a Chicago Tribune investigation revealed holes in its background check policies.
  • November 29 Striving to create a safer environment more conducive to productive training and leadership development, the Army has recently moved to adopt a uniform policy of background checks for certain roles. 
  • November 27 California’s biggest public school district is waiving the cost of volunteer background checks. The move is meant to encourage more family - and community members to get involved with the school district.
  • November 22 Contractors play an important role in the workforce, delivering services to both individuals and organizations. Vetting contractors for suitability continues to be a challenge, as two recent articles prove.
  • November 21 When it comes to background and pre-employment checks, it can be instructive to look at the characteristics of the ten most massive U.S. employers.
  • November 20 The #MeToo movement is bringing about legislative changes employers need to know about. We review some of the laws recently passed in California.
  • November 19

    Will a criminal conviction show up on your background check forever? In most states, there is a year limit for how long background check companies can report older criminal information.

  • November 15

    Replacing an inconsistent array of procedures, Ontario's government has passed into law a reform act intended to clarify how police departments should handle requests for information to be used in background checks. 

  • November 14 The federal government has vowed to cut its backlog of security clearance background checks in half by spring. Currently, the backlog is approximately 600,000 names strong.
  • November 12 To ensure the best hires, DFWSPF has implemented a stringent employee screening process—one that includes background searches through