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.

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