Blog

 
     

High School Grounds Worker Assault Case Proves that Threats are Still Finding a Way onto Campus

By Michael Klazema on 11/10/2014

One of the biggest trends in the background check industry over the past few years has been a campaign to make schools safer and more secure. In the wake of school shootings such as the December 2012 Sandy Hook tragedy, school administrators throughout the country went back to the drawing board. Their solutions and protections have been multifaceted, from locking doors to hiring security guards. Schools throughout the nation have also doubled down on background checks since 2012, implementing new screening systems for everyone from coaches to bus drivers to school visitors.

Even in spite of all this effort, though, threats are still finding a way onto school campuses. That much was proven by a recent incident at New Deal High School in Lubbock, Texas. There, a grounds worker was arrested for allegedly assaulting a student. The student was not seriously injured, and the incident did not involve firearms or any other deadly weapons. However, it was a scare that caused some to question the school's background check policies.

The grounds worker in question was not an employee of the school. Rather, he was employed by a third-party contract company, entrusted with school maintenance issues. The worker was arrested after an alleged physical altercation between him and a senior student. Sources say the grounds worker punched the student.

The superintendent for the New Deal Independent School District said that state law requires all district workers and volunteers to undergo background checks. He said that the grounds worker in this case must have passed a background check since he wouldn't have been allowed to work on campus otherwise. Whether the background check was run by the school or the contracting firm, though, is unclear. Also unclear is what type of background check was run, and whether the school district and the contracting firm would have followed similar screening policies.

Even without knowing precisely which background checks were run, though, it's clear that New Deal is a school that takes the safety of students seriously. The school district, like several others in Texas, participates in the school marshal program. That means that numerous educators working for the school district have been trained to use and carry firearms. The theory is that these armed teachers would be able to defend the school if any serious threat arose.

Still, it's clear that schools have to be a bit more vigilant about who they bring onto their campuses if incidents like this particular assault case are still happening. Perhaps an extension of the existing screening program that extends to the contingent workforce. Or maybe personality assessments could help keep volatile individuals out of school-related employment positions. Schools spend a lot of time and resources making sure they have the right teachers and administrators onboard: they shouldn't do any less for contract workers.

Source: http://www.myhighplains.com/story/d/story/grounds-worker-punches-student-at-new-deal-high-sc/10609/RqnXwIVtiUO28asmgwMajg


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.