OSU Creates Robust Background Check Requirements for Individuals Working with Minors

By Michael Klazema on 5/1/2013

Ohio State University is joining the ranks of the many schools that have finally put into place official rules requiring background checks on all employees and volunteers who work with children on university property.

This step probably seems like plain old common sense. But in businesses like colleges and universities, where most of the individuals served by the staff are over 18, administrators and officials might not think of the need to protect children right away.

For OSU, the need to protect children relates to their overnight youth camps, 4H programs, and child care service. Only individuals involved with these 660 or so programs will be subjected to background checks. These checks will consist of fingerprinting from the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation plus the completion of Statement of Non-Conviction forms from the state Department of Job and Family Services.

OSU is setting a good example for other employers by making these background checks recur at set intervals through an employee’s tenure. The criminal background check will be repeated every four years, and the Non-Conviction forms will be filled out annually. If an employee leaves the university or is a seasonal worker, they will have to complete the background check process each time they are rehired for a position involving children.

OSU’s background check policy will apply to employees and volunteers alike. Even volunteers who are minors will have to complete the background check process prior to working with children. Of course, special precautions will have to be taken when investigating minors, including obtaining parental consent for the background checks.

One additional precaution that OSU should perhaps consider adding to its background check policy is the use of a tool like Ongoing Criminal Monitoring from Such a tool provides automatic email advisories to employers whenever new information gets added to an individual’s record in the database. This could help protect against the possibility of an employee passing the initial background check, but then getting charged with a crime soon after hiring and therefore potentially posing a danger to the children they work with. Without Ongoing Criminal Monitoring, employers wouldn’t know about the charges until they ran their next scheduled background check, or, even worse, until the charges showed up in the local paper.

Some OSU students expressed surprise that OSU did not already have a background check process in place. After all, it has been several years since the Sandusky scandal at Penn State rocked the university sports community with its allegations of over a decade of child abuse perpetrated on university property by a coach. The coach in question, Jerry Sandusky, was convicted of 45 counts of abuse in June.

A recent alleged incident in Drackett Tower on OSU campus may have contributed to the decision to roll out the background check policy. The incident took place in July and involved two minors participating in a youth wrestling camp. Though neither minor was affiliated with OSU, it no doubt brought home the need to ensure kids are protected when attending OSU camps and programs.


Founded during the Internet boom in 1999 by an executive in both the staffing and information industry, – a founding member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) – has been able to create a service that provides a blend of flexible screening programs that included instant, cost effective and comprehensive solutions. Our experience in database modeling of public records information has led to become the leader in the acquisition and delivery of public records information by harnessing the power and technology of the Internet. To learn more visit



Tag Cloud
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • 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.
  • February 27 Governor Asa Hutchinson signed House Bill 2216 which amends the employer’s directives regarding a current or prospective employee’s social media account.
  • February 23 A Texas summer camp is in the spotlight after an unflattering investigation from a local news channel. The case has some parents asking what they can do to vet summer camp programs before enrolling their kids.