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 reocrds. By partnering with reputable companies like backgroundchecks.com 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.
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