Blog

 
     

Background Checks Required for OU College of Education Students

By Michael Klazema on 8/28/2013

Last semester, OU student Christopher Flores was charged with lewd acts against a child during the field teaching required for his major. This incident has left OU College of Education administrators searching for ways to prevent similar incidents in the future.

According to College of Education Dean Gregg Garn, the college used to rely on a university-wide requirement for students to self-report their own criminal backgrounds as a means of ensuring that the students were qualified to train as teachers. There was no separate background check requirement or questionnaire required for admission into the College of Education.

However, steps were taken to protect any children that that students might come into contact with during their field work. Before students went out into the teaching field in any capacity, they had to sign a special form swearing that they met the same standards as any professional teacher, and before students were entrusted with their own student teaching project, they did have to pass a criminal background check.

A criminal background check for student teachers would be used to weed out students whose criminal histories indicated that they might be likely to harm children. However, the background check obviously will not be effective against students who may wish to harm children, but have never before been caught or convicted of a crime.

This may have been what happened in Christopher Flores’ case. The university said that he allegedly committed his crime while teaching in the field, so presumably this means he would have had to complete and pass the background check required for student teaching.

Another possibility is that Flores’ background check may not have been sufficiently thorough to identify all criminal records. The university has not specified what type of background check was used. In some cases, organizations that use state-based background checks end up missing criminal records from jurisdictions outside that state. It is much better to use a comprehensive national background check product such as US OneSEARCH from backgroundchecks.com. This tool compares an individual’s name and date of birth against a collection of over 450 million public criminal records taken from state and local databases across the country to ensure that no relevant public information is left out of the background check report. US OneSEARCH returns results almost instantly and is usually less expensive than a state-based check from a law enforcement agency.

In response to the Flores incident, administrators are now requiring that all students wishing to study education pass a criminal background check prior to enrolling in the College of Education. Hopefully, this new policy will provide children with added protection from predators during all teaching events that OU students participate in, not just during student teaching.

Students seem to be supporting the background check requirement so far. One early education major said it makes sense for education students to have to meet the same requirements as any child care worker or teacher from the very start. She doesn’t believe it will have any effect on enrollment. “People who are passionate about education will not be deterred by extra safety precautions.”

About backgroundchecks.com

Founded during the Internet boom in 1999 by an executive in both staffing and information industries, backgroundchecks.com – 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 includ instant, cost effective and comprehensive solutions. Their experience in database modeling of public records information has led backgroundchecks.com 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 www.backgroundchecks.com.

Source: http://www.oudaily.com/news/2013/aug/27/coebackgroundchecks_story/

Author:


Tag Cloud
Categories
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • June 20 Repeat background checks are becoming more common, with companies in India leading the charge. What does this trend look like, and how can employers embrace it now to stay ahead of the curve?
  • June 19

    Every federal job involves a background check of some kind. These background checks and how they are evaluated vary based on job, department, and security clearance level.


  • June 18

  • June 14 Ban the box laws aim to improve opportunities for employment. Could they have the opposite effect instead?
  • June 13 Jacobs Petroleum Products is a regional petroleum company that operates throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and Maryland. Apart from their employees carrying much responsibility and have frequent contact with customers, the company’s hiring also tends to be segmented since individual store managers are responsible for hiring talent for their own stores. In this employment landscape, Jacobs Petroleum Products needed a reliable and effective way to screen its new hires for criminal infractions and other red flags.
  • June 12

    The University of Wisconsin System may tweak its hiring and reference check processes. The potential changes come after one of UW’s assistant deans was accused of sexual harassment.


  • June 07 Stories of abuse by coaches in youth sports leagues continue to crop up around the country, but rules and guidelines remain patchy and enforcement is often lacking. The struggle to implement an effective system continues nationwide.
  • June 07 Financial background checks, usually referred to as credit history checks, can be an effective way to find out if a candidate is fit to handle accounts, financial data, and other assets at your business.
  • June 06 The Society for Human Resource Management and the Charles Koch Institute recently commissioned a survey to find out how willing employers were to hire people with criminal records. The study indicates that managers, HR professionals, and employees themselves are becoming more comfortable with the idea of hiring and working with ex-offenders.
  • June 04 Are fingerprint background checks the gold standard for employee screening, or are they overhyped? We look at some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding these checks.