Should Naperville Schools Do More to Protect Children

By Michael Klazema on 2/28/2012

The state of Illinois has a mandate that all teachers in all schools go through a criminal background check before being able to work in the state. For some, however, the background checks that are currently being done are simply not enough. An incident in late December, where a school custodian, Kenneth Brown, exposed himself to a female teacher, caused this call for change. Though no students were present at the time, the fact that it happened at all is alarming to many school officials and parents.

Officially, Illinois state law focuses only on those school employees who were hired after 2004. Those hired before that time were never required to go through a background check. Since Brown has been employed at the school since 2000, his background, which is littered with petty crimes like theft, was never put through a full criminal background check. Employees who go through the full background check are subject to fingerprinting and are made ineligible for employment should there be any crimes like drug offenses or felonies. Theft, like the crime committed by Brown, is also included, however he was grandfathered in and fell through a loophole.

Another concern from parents and district leaders is the fact that Naperville school employees are only required to go through a background check when they are hired, not after that. Technically there could be teachers or other employees who are working at Naperville schools who have a criminal background, but the crime was not committed until after they were hired. There are many instances where a person could be accused of a crime and the workplace would never know unless someone stumbled upon public records.

Suggestions to change this are being tossed around and one of them is that a random background check be done on ten percent of all employees each year.  Another suggestion is to use a third party background check company like which offers several products that would help the school district keep tabs on any crimes committed by their employees. One of these products is known as Ongoing Criminal Monitoring and would allow the schools to be notified when any of their employees has a new crime record appear in the national database. There is also the option, of course, to rescreen all employees every few years as a way to ensure that children are able to attend a school where they will be safe from bad situations.

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

Click here to find out about our authors.


Tag Cloud
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • March 20 Employers who use E-Verify must follow the proper steps and procedures when they receive a “tentative non-confirmation notice” from either the Social Security Administration or Department of Homeland Security. Failure to follow the proper procedures can cost employers both time and money. 
  • March 20

    Four Department of Commerce employees are out after their background checks resulted in security clearance denials. All four had worked high-ranking positions for months despite incomplete background checks.

  • March 15 As more states legalize the recreational use of cannabis, they contend with the emergence of new industries surrounding marijuana cultivation and production. 
  • March 14 In most cases, it is easy to determine where an issue might show up on a pre-employment background check. Citations for traffic violations or reckless driving charges will appear on a motor vehicle record check. Verdicts in a civil court case will show on a civil court background check. And criminal convictions—from petty theft to violent felonies—show up on criminal background checks.
  • March 13 How many years back do employment background checks go? This question can have multiple different answers depending on the situation.
  • March 13 A new bill in Florida would require landlords of apartment complexes to present tenants with verifications of employee background checks to give them peace of mind the people working in and around their homes are trustworthy.
  • March 08 Police officers working with the University of Texas at Arlington recently arrested a man who had avoided police capture on a warrant out of Oregon for nearly two decades. The man, whose real name is Daniel Charles Ray Hanson, spent those 17 years using a variety of fake names and identification documents to move around the country, often engaging with educational institutions under false pretenses. Police say Hanson regularly went by at least three different aliases. He sports a rap sheet that stretches back to an arson conviction in 1995. 
  • March 07

    The Future of EEOC Guidance in Texas Is Up in the Air

    The EEOC issued guidance in 2012 warning employers about the dangers of enforcing categorical policies to bar candidates with criminal histories. That guidance is not enforceable in Texas thanks to a recent court ruling.

  • March 05 Vermont is the latest state to restrict employers’ access to and use of social media accounts of employees and applicants. 
  • March 01 In an age of "industry disruptors" turning established business models on their heads, companies such as Uber and Lyft rely on a unique workforce of individuals outside the traditional employer-employee context. Uber calls them "partners" while other businesses refer to them as "independent contractors," the official classification these individuals use for tax purposes. Recently, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) revealed they had warned a business, Postmates, for misclassifying their staff as independent contractors. In the NLRB's determination, these individuals were employees.