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

  • November 08 A Texas-based company was found to be supplying landlords with inaccurate background check results, potentially affecting housing decisions. The company must pay a record-setting settlement.
  • November 07 Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt brand trusts backgroundchecks.com to perform the crucial function of background checks on job candidates before extending offers of employment.
  • November 06 The man previously responsible for running background checks on New York City’s school bus drivers says the city’s Department of Education has been pushing back against more thorough checks. The DOE reportedly circumnavigated proper bus driver vetting channels for most of the spring and summer this year.
  • November 06 If you have a series of speeding tickets or other traffic violations, do you need to disclose them as criminal history?
  • November 01 South Carolina's legislature recently adopted a measure to expand access to expungement opportunities for the state's ex-convicts, but other gaps in the process remain. Advocates disagree on how to address the problem to protect offenders as well as the public.
  • October 31 Background checks will show different things depending on the type of check. Here are a few ways employers can use background checks to learn about candidates.
  • October 30 The Pentagon recently disclosed a breach that exposed the personal information of roughly 30,000 personnel. The government blamed the breach on a contractor, calling into question background check policies for federal government vendors.
  • October 30 Just because a record has been expunged from the record or sealed from public view doesn’t mean all traces of it are gone. Expunged and sealed records can sometimes show up on criminal background checks.
  • October 29 What is the status of your driver’s license? Not only can driver’s license statuses impact your ability to drive legally, but they can also impact your auto insurance coverage.
  • October 26 As fresh details emerge in the long-running sex abuse scandal plaguing the Catholic Church, some efforts to mitigate risks and protect the vulnerable stand out from the rest, including those in the diocese of Austin, Texas.