Background Checks

I read an interesting online story about a school district that is considering asking members of its school board to undergo background checks.  On the surface that might be considered excessive, but it’s important to know that members of this particular board of education are given a key card that gives them access to school buildings.

An administrator for the school district said, “If they are an elected official, then they are an elected official. You cannot mandate that they go through any type of background check. You can strongly encourage them to, and it can be public information if they do.  But we cannot mandate anyone.”  While that may be true, it would make sense to me that, if any board member refused voluntarily to have a background check done, then that person wouldn’t be given access to any school buildings.

Here’s what another administrator said, “It sounds like the best we can do is strongly recommend that board members get their independent clearances, and then we could have a caveat saying that, if you don’t get them, then you don’t have access to a key card.”  Now, there’s an administrator who’s thinking correctly.  Imagine the pressure if a local news reporter found out that a school board member refused to undergo a voluntary background check.  I would think his chances for re-election would be pretty slim.  It just makes sense to require everyone who’s going to be around school children to have a background check done  –  regardless of the job or position.  The safety of school children always has to come first.