Here’s why schools should exercise caution when hiring all staff, not just teachers

sending a female student inappropriate text messages, and asking her to send him nude photos. Driver Paul King had allegedly been sexting the 16-year-old high school student for a month, and the local sheriff’s office suspects that King was sending texts to other female students as well. “He did state he thought he did try to get another female to also send him photos or explicit text to her,” said Pasco Sheriff’s Office spokesman Kevin Doll. King refused to turn his phone over to police, so they have issued a search warrant. King had been a bus driver for Pasco County School District since 2005, and drove elementary and high school students to and from school. During that time had been suspended several times for speeding, swearing and reckless driving, but there was no record of inappropriate behavior with a student. Florida requires background checks to be updated, along with fingerprint scans, every five years. According to school district spokeswoman Linda Cobbe, King passed “level 2 background checks, FBI background checks” when he was first hired. Administrators have a responsibility to not only protect students at elementary, middle and high schools, but to protect those seeking higher education via universities or community colleges as well. A level-two sex offender — a person at “moderate risk” for future offenses — was hired as an English teacher at two Massachusetts colleges in 2006 and 2009, despite still being on probation for a 2005 conviction of possessing child pornography and assault and battery on a 16-year-old girl. Administrators allegedly knew about the conviction when they hired Sean M. Janson at Massasoit Community College and Bridgewater State University, though that information was not made available to the public until October of this year. Massasoit apparently has never had a policy prohibiting the college from hiring convicted sex offenders. Both schools will be reexamining their hiring policies and background checking policies in December.]]>

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