Blog

 
     

Two Colorado Senators Band Together to Push for Mandatory Youth Sports Background Checks

By Michael Klazema on 1/16/2015

Two Democratic politicians in Colorado are pushing for mandatory background checks for private youth sports clubs. Right now, there is no law on the books in the state that requires privately run youth sports organizations to run background checks on employees or volunteers. The proposed bill, drafted by a team that includes a State Representative, a State Senator, and a child abuse prevention consultant, ”would change all that. The new legislation, if passed, would call upon soccer clubs and baseball leagues, and require them to conduct background screenings of most employees and volunteers.

Of course, just because this bill isn't officially law yet doesn't mean that youth sports as a whole is a haven for sex offenders and child abusers. Since the majority of youth leagues are operated by public school districts, most parents in Colorado can rest assured that their kids' coaches, assistant coaches, and trainers have been subjected to background checks. Just like teachers are required to undergo background screenings before working with kids, school coaches are held to the same benchmarks.

However, when it comes to private sports clubs, background check legislation has been overlooked in Colorado. And while many of these privately held clubs are completely legitimate and do run background checks on their staffs, there are others that skip the screenings entirely.

From the clubs' perspective, it might make sense to skip something that is not legally required of them. After all, staff-wide background checks can be costly and can make it much more difficult to fill a coaching position quickly. A sports club could save both time and money by skipping the checks entirely and trusting in the honor system to bring red flags to attention. Unfortunately, this reasoning could also allow sex offenders, child abusers, and other predators to slip through the cracks and obtain positions working closely with children.

The new Colorado legislation, tagged right now as Senate Bill 48, would seek to close off the holes and improve the defenses. The bill, if passed, would make it so that employees or volunteers who work with children for "five or more days in a calendar month" would first have to pass a background check. The bill would also require automatic background checks for any employees or volunteers wishing to chaperone overnight sports trips. Finally, the legislation would make it illegal for private sports clubs to hire anyone who has been convicted of a sex crime, or whose record includes a child abuse-related felony. The checks would look at criminal record information both in and outside of Colorado.

The State Representative who is helping to push the bill through to approval thinks it is inexcusable that Colorado has let a "gaping hole" in the system fester for so long. He's right: while more kids probably play sports inside their school districts than outside of school, there are still thousands and thousands of youths participating in these private sports clubs each year. It's about time that a law be put in place to protect them.

Source: http://www.timescall.com/longmont-local-news/ci_27296781/bill-proposes-background-check-youth-sports-organizations-employees



Tag Cloud
Categories
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • December 11 The Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General criticized a migrant youth detention center on the border for not running the proper background checks. Federal law requires the facility to screen all employees with FBI fingerprint checks.
  • December 06 In a bid to combat money laundering and illicit funding sources for terrorists flowing through the country's real estate sector, Singapore's government now mandates background checks for buyers purchasing properties prior to development.
  • December 04 What is a reference check? How does it vary from a work history check? We explore these questions and others.
  • December 04 Chicago Public Schools has dismissed hundreds of employees, coaches, vendors, and volunteers based on background check findings. The district recently vowed to re-check the majority of its 68,000 employees after a Chicago Tribune investigation revealed holes in its background check policies.
  • November 29 Striving to create a safer environment more conducive to productive training and leadership development, the Army has recently moved to adopt a uniform policy of background checks for certain roles. 
  • November 27 For hiring managers to verify the information provided on a resume, verification is essential.  Such is the purpose of employment history background checks.
  • November 27 California’s biggest public school district is waiving the cost of volunteer background checks. The move is meant to encourage more family - and community members to get involved with the school district.
  • November 22 Contractors play an important role in the workforce, delivering services to both individuals and organizations. Vetting contractors for suitability continues to be a challenge, as two recent articles prove.
  • November 21 When it comes to background and pre-employment checks, it can be instructive to look at the characteristics of the ten most massive U.S. employers.
  • November 21

    Verification checks are a powerful way to assess how truthful a job candidate has been on his or her application or resume. These checks can verify work history, education verification, professional licenses, and favorable personal qualities.