Background Checks

According to a recent articles in the Indianapolis Star newspaper, Indiana lawmakers are considering, for this year’s legislative session,  greatly expanding the requirements for background checks on school employees. “Per the Star, proposals range from making checks “more routine” and reducing the time that elapses between when a screen is completed and an employee begins working with children.

The story went on to note, “A group of bills filed in the Indiana House and Senate aim to strengthen the checks in the wake of a USA Today Network and IndyStar investigation that found holes in the state’s screening process. If passed, school employees would face a screen every five years that would check criminal history and child protection records, instead of just when they’re hired.”

The Star also reported lawmakers are evaluating whether they should require school policies that ensure a prospective hire’s references are checked before a job offer is extended.

Given the risk of harm to school children, I’m inclined to think it’s a good ideas to perform more frequent and more thorough checking of all school personnel—certainly anyone who has contact with children. I’m sure there are those who think that notion is totally self-serving, but it’s really not!

It just makes sense. Exert that little dab of extra effort to help ensure the safety of one of our most vulnerable populations—school children.  We’ll see what the Indiana General Assembly decides to do and keep you informed. One thing is certain. If public schools are required to check references, someone’s going to have to teach them how to do it!