School Board Member Questions School District’s Background Check Policies and Urges Repeat Checks

By Michael Klazema on 8/16/2012

School board member John Dutcher of the Johnston Community School District Board of Education isquestioning why the school district only conducts background checks at the time of hire and not during contract renewals. Dutcher voiced his concerns during a recent Board of Education meeting to approve renewing the contract of Johnston School District Superintendent Clay Guthmiller. Dutcher was the only board member who opposed the contract renewal. A two-year contract with Guthmiller was approved, which includes a 3.25 percent salary raise. After the meeting Dutcher said his “no vote on the contract is self-explanatory,” and doesn’t “share in other board members’ desire” for Guthmiller to continue his employment with the district.

During the meeting, Dutcher questioned the school district’s background check policies, and recommended the district do more thorough investigations on employees. He gave a hypothetical example of a district employee possibly obtaining a part-time administrative position. He said if that happened without a background check, that it “would be unfortunate.” Dutcher declined to mention any specific reservations he may have had regarding Guthmiller, and if his reason for rejecting the contract renewal was related to the lack of a recent background check. The district’s Associate Superintendent of Human Resources, James Casey, said that the policy was to only conduct background checks on potential hires, but certain legal troubles could result in termination for current employees. While the renewal of Guthmiller’s contract does not call for another background check, it does require an annual performance evaluation.

Greg Dockum , also a Johnston School Board member, is in agreement with the current policy on background checks held by the school district. He said it would be “highly unusual” to conduct a check “on a long-tenured employee.” Dutcher defended his stance by saying as a member of the school board it is his duty to ensure that “the best possible decisions” are made to benefit the community and employees of the school district. However, Marci Cordaro, Board President, remarked that Dutcher is often critical of district decisions. She said she doesn’t “know for sure why he voted the way he did.”

In recent months, schools have been continuing to evaluate their background check policies. Some are leaving nothing to chance, as discussed in the recent article, New Hampshire School Introducing Background Checks for All Visitors. When it comes to the safety of children, regular and ongoing background checks are a good policy. By using a reputable company like, you can be assured you are getting the best and most thorough background check screening techniques available. With 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. All information derived from this search is run through the US OneSEARCH instant criminal database, assuring all possible aliases are found.

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

  • 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.