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Back to School; Back to Background Screening Volunteers


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October 12, 2018 Return to News & Events

Back to School; Back to Background Screening Volunteers

Shorter days and longer nights can only mean one thing: Back to school. The rites of fall have children across the country begrudgingly returning the daily cadence of public or private education.

And with the return to school many students will return to afterschool activities, such as clubs or sports, and many of these activities will require the assistance of volunteers.

Adam Almeida, President and CEO of CriminalBackgroundRecords.com, states: “A best practice for schools requiring volunteers to assist in afterschool activities is a thorough vetting process, one that includes a criminal background check.”

At-risk populations, such as children or the elderly, are vulnerable to victimization. Schools using volunteers that interact with children must take steps to ensure their safety.

And the reasons are clear.

In Yadkinville, NC a school volunteer was arrested for alleged malicious behavior.

From JournalNow.com (Oct 02, 18):

A Starmount High School volunteer coach was arrested after being charged with sex offenses involving a student… (1)

Things are no different on the west coast.

From theCalifornian.com (Sep 20, 18):

In Salinas California a youth football coach faces “charges of gunning down a man in Chinatown two years ago.” (2)

A potential conviction of murder would certainly preclude an individual from serving as a volunteer but in some areas of the country certain convictions would not lead to a failed background check or rejection from a volunteer role.

In New Hampshire…”A former Winnacunnet High School assistant football coach facing burglary charges was a convicted felon when hired by the school in 2017, but officials say the conviction would not necessarily have prevented him from working in education.” (3)

Almeida states: “The requirements and legalities of a volunteer background check can vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. A best practice is to work with a well-qualified third party background screening agency.”

In some cases some parents have begun to question the policy of background screening volunteers.

From an opinion piece in the Idaho Mountain Express; mtexpress.com (Oct 11, 18):

As a mother of two children in the Blaine County School District, I have been made aware of a new practice involving parent volunteer screening. The screening that is now required before a parent can volunteer in the classroom or with the school children involves, among other things, fingerprinting and a background check. While I appreciate that the district is making every effort to ensure our students’ safety, I can’t help but be concerned about how this practice might marginalize and discourage some parents from our valley’s already vulnerable immigrant population from volunteering. (4)

Almeida adds: “A solid and thorough background check can work as a barrier to potential predators from working around children as a volunteer. Despite potential pushback, a best practice remains that all volunteers should be background checked by a well-qualified third-party background screening agency.”

CriminalBackgroundRecords.com is a third-party background screening company that can provide compliant solutions for all screening requirements. From pre-employment to post-hire screening, as well as volunteer, caregiver and nanny checks, CriminalBackgroundRecords.com provides background screening services across a broad array of industries. From the smallest organization to the largest corporation, CriminalBackgroundRecords.com can fulfill every background screening requirement.

Notes

  1. journalnow.com/news/crime/volunteer-coach-at-yadkin-county-high-school-charged-with-sex/article_9f219f44-9ca9-59f3-8615-4743311e0cc6.html
  2. thecalifornian.com/story/news/2018/09/20/salinas-coach-murder-arrest-what-we-know-now/1362358002/
  3. seacoastonline.com/news/20181005/ex-whs-football-coach-had-prior-felony-convictions
  4. https://www.mtexpress.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/school-district-should-revisit-volunteer-background-checks/article_3d196f6c-cc0d-11e8-a694-d333add8d6cf.html

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