Blog

 
     

Massachusetts School Association Wants to Widen Background Checks

By Michael Klazema on 9/25/2017
A Massachusetts association of private schools wants to make sure that its schools are screening for all types of abuse. Per a report from The Milford Daily News, the Massachusetts Association of Chapter 766 Approved Private Schools currently only screens for “substantiated reports of child abuse or neglect.” Abuse or neglect of adults with disabilities falls outside of the frame of the association’s background checks.

As coverage explains, the schools in the association currently run their abuse background checks through the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families. The DCF has detailed databases of child abuse accusations and incidents. If a prospective school employee shows up in this database, DCF reports the information to the school that ordered the check. Per administrators, this system helps schools keep known child abusers away from students.

Jim Major, the executive director of the Massachusetts Association of Chapter 766 Approved Private Schools, claims the current checks aren’t enough. Per reports, the association is responsible for representing private schools in Massachusetts that are authorized to offer “specialized programs to students with severe disabilities.” As such, Major claims the association should be concerned with identifying abusers of individuals with disabilities, even if the victims aren’t children. DCF checks only show cases of abuse or neglect committed against children. The association currently has no background check policy dedicated to identifying candidates who have abused or neglected disabled adults.

Major says the issue isn’t isolated to the Massachusetts Association of Chapter 766 Approved Private Schools: it’s a statewide gap, one he identifies as “unintended” but a gap nonetheless.

A bill currently pending in the Massachusetts legislature could close that gap. If passed, reports note, the bill would create an agreement across multiple departments and agencies with the goal of providing more comprehensive background checks for prospective school employees. The Department of Children and Families would be involved, as would the Department of Secondary Education. Central to the agreement would be the Disabled Persons Protection Commission.

The bill would create a system in which the Disabled Persons Protection Commission would be required to provide background check reports to schools, coverage explains. These reports would include information about the abuse and neglect of disabled adults. If a prospective school employee had a record of substantiated abuse or neglect against an adult with a disability, a red flag would come up on their background check. The Disabled Persons Protection Commission would play a role similar to what the DCF does for schools currently. The pending legislation would create the infrastructure for schools to access extra abuse information.

Sources: http://www.milforddailynews.com/news/20170922/school-association-seeks-background-check-reforms

Tag Cloud
Categories
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • May 24 The law surrounding employment is constantly evolving. Stay up to date on the latest potential changes in the pipeline with this overview.
  • May 22

    The New York City Department of Corrections is the subject of a new report from the city’s Department of Investigation. The report indicates the DOC missed dozens of red flags in candidates’ backgrounds due to sub-standard background check policies.


  • May 18 In search of more personnel and considering normalization, some major employers have elected to drop pre-employment drug screens for marijuana. As the opioid epidemic continues, there is still a role for workplace drug tests.
  • May 15

    A Congressional IT contractor who is facing bank fraud, a class-action lawsuit, and allegations of cyber breach never underwent a background check. Congressional guidelines recommend background screenings but have a loophole that makes it possible to skip them.


  • May 15

    We look at the types of background checks school districts should require all school bus drivers to pass.


  • May 10 Are SSN background checks essential, or even necessary? We look at what Social Security Number data can and cannot do in the background check process.
  • May 10

    In the wake of an attack in which the perpetrator used a rental vehicle to strike pedestrians, and with a growing number of such attacks around the world in recent years, rental companies must consider how to address the issue. Effective security measures have proven difficult to implement.


  • May 08 Some statistics suggest employers aren’t running international background checks. In a job market where foreign candidates are increasingly common, this oversight can be dangerous.
  • May 03

    Despite player numbers in the millions, the primary sanctioning body for youth soccer in the United States established no standard policy requiring background checks. They face legal jeopardy due to the actions of abusive coaches. 


  • May 03 Are you applying for a job with Starbucks? Here’s what to expect from the background check process.