School District Fails to Run Background Checks on Some Employees

By Michael Klazema on 8/1/2012

South Carolina’s Jasper County School District officials have recently revealed that not all employees have received background checks, a requirement of state law and school district policy. According to Ken Childs, the school district attorney, there was a misunderstanding in interpretation of the state law requiring that school districts must check the backgrounds of all potential employees before they are hired. The Jasper County School District erroneously believed that the checks weren’t required if the potential hire had already been employed by another district within South Carolina. Although it is unclear how many district employees have not been screened before being hired, the school district is currently checking records and plans to perform checks on those who are missing them, according to Childs.

Childs states the confusion comes from a statute requiring background checks before the “initial employment” of classroom instructors, which was interpreted by the district to indicate that a teacher never before employed within South Carolina. Childs said it was a “widespread” and “common interpretation.” But the law was revised in 2010 requiring anyone that will be working at a school to get a screening done with the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division. While some employees have been screened, Childs said teachers and any other certified employees only had a check performed if it was believed by the district that a check had not been done previously. The district’s trustees board adopted the district-wide policy in 2010 requiring background checks.

This problem was revealed when Vashti Washington, the district superintendent, announced in a press release that the school district failed to conduct a background check on the new academics and human resources head in 2010. Media reports show that Arthur Lee Holmes was charged with embezzlement of $5,000 or more while working as an elementary school principal within Berkeley County, S.C., a few months after being hired by the Jasper School District. However, there are no court records of Holmes’ arrest and they are thought to have been expunged. According to Washington, failing to perform a criminal screening on Holmes was a “mistake” and “he did not have a criminal record” at the time he was hired. Childs maintains that Holmes “has a clean record today” and he will continue his employment in the school district.

By utilizing background checks for all new hires, school districts or any business with employees working around children can assure they are doing all they can to protect themselves and the community. And you can get the best and most thorough background check screening techniques available by using a reputable company like access to countless criminal databases nationwide they have many options available, several with instant results. Their Ongoing Criminal Monitoring tool allows you to automatically run a continuous background check against a name and date of birth. You will be notified via email of any new information that may appear on their record. They will run the name for one year and remind you when it is time to renew the monitoring, plus you can remove the name from being monitored at any time. Or to find out about possible aliases, try their US AliasSEARCH. This is a multi-faceted search that combines US OneSEARCH with the known aliases provided from a SSN trace.

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