Milwaukie School District Missed the Criminal Conviction of a School Bus Driver

By Michael Klazema on 5/3/2012

Milwaukie Public Schools are receiving a lot of negative press and got parents concerned, due to the discovery of questionable records of some of their school bus drivers.  While there were a few drivers with driving records that should prevent them from being school bus drivers, a more serious conviction was the main focus. 

Melissa Dumas, a school bus driver for the district, had a prostitution conviction on her record from 2005.  When asked about this, the district was shocked.  They said that all of their drivers go through two background checks to look for potentially dangerous crimes.  When they checked their records concerning Dumas, they found that she did indeed go through the background check, but that the conviction in question did not appear.  They agreed that this kind of conviction would have prevented her from being hired to work with kids.

In an effort to control the news, the school district sent out a recorded telephone notice to all parents and Dumas no longer works for them.  Apparently, she failed to report the conviction on her employment application.  When questioned about the conviction by reporters over the telephone, Dumas seemed shocked, saying, “Are you kidding me?” but made no further comment.  While most parents feel slightly more at ease knowing she is no longer working for the district, others are upset that the woman was let go.  Those who disagree with the negative publicity feel she had cleaned up her act and was working an honest job, which she should be commended for.

At the root of the matter though, is the accuracy of the initial background check.  Why didn’t the conviction show up?  It may be because the school only checked for criminal records in a limited number of jurisdictions or that it carried out an instant criminal search from a background screening company that does not continuously grow and update their database, meaning there may significant gaps in their coverage or delays in the updating of new records.  By partnering with reputable companies like though, they would get the benefit of a firm that continuously invests in the growth of their database sources and strives to update records in a under a week.  This means the information they would get from a US OneSEARCH or US Offender OneSEARCH will likely be more accurate, thus helping to potentially vet out more dangerous hires.

About - - a founding member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) and co-founder of the Expungement Clearinghouse - 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