During a recent trip around the Internet, I came across a story about a state that’s trying to pass legislation that would prohibit any private youth sports organization from hiring an employee or approving a volunteer without first doing a criminal background check. The purpose of the law is to help protect young people in club sports from child abuse or sexual misconduct.
It’s a sad commentary on private sports organizations for kids that a state law is needed to make them do what ordinary common sense would seem to dictate they should do. Doing a background check on everybody, employee or volunteer, who’s going to come into close contact with kids playing youth sports, seems like such an obvious thing to do that it’s surprising to think that a law would be needed to make them do a criminal history check on everybody.
We do work for several public and private schools that routinely check everybody, including volunteers who are going to work with their students. Not only does doing a background check make good sense, but also it should be common sense! Mitigating the risk of harm to any vulnerable population, young or old, shouldn’t require a law to make it happen, but it’s apparently a sad fact of life that not every institution, public or private, uses common sense to protect those for whom they are responsible.
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