Background screening for ice-cream vendors: a step too far?

Allentown, PA, has put forward a bill that would require ice-cream vendors to obtain a license – part of which would involve a background check. With background screening becoming an increasingly important social issue in 2011, such a proposal begs the question from some quarters – how far is too far? With students filing lawsuits against schools who are subjecting pupils to background checks, volunteers not being able to participate in the local community due to the time it takes for background screening to be processed, and even a hotel requiring a background check, it is no surprise that people are beginning to wonder whether we are taking things too far. According to Allentown, no we are not. “There were two main reasons that this bill came forward,” said council president Michael D’ Amore. “First the fact that the trucks are mobile and attract youth and second that many of the trucks and their operators come from out of our jurisdiction and even the state. If we’re going to do something like this, we should do it the right way and include the FBI background check too,” said councilman Ray O’ Connell. “If you have the two other checks but not the third and something happens, then what?” Background screening has become an essential part of our society – it is key to protecting our vulnerable members. In the way we currently operate, it can be difficult to get such checks processed in a timely and cost-effective manner. If we want to follow the lead of Allentown, and continue to protect our citizens, then why not work at trying to remove some of the obstacles. For those that question such in-depth checks, perhaps it’s time to look for a new solution – resources to make these processes easier, not removing them altogether.]]>

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