Teachers, students and now board members submit to background checks

teachers face background checks prior to being hired, this has been a practice for many years and is policy, if not law, across the nation. It’s barely even news that students are facing background checks in some areas, particularly those who are involved in sports. However, it may well be interesting for you to hear that board members may now have to submit to background checks before they can be accepted onto the school board. This particular law was passed in New Jersey, but similar legislation is poking it’s head out in multiple states. In NJ, the law would disqualify anyone convicted of certain crimes (ranging from reckless endangerment and drug possession to burglary and murder) from serving on a board of education or charter school school board. Wyckoff Board of Education President Robert Francin said he fully supported the measure. “It makes a great deal of sense to have board of education trustees adhere to the same background checking requirements that school employees are held to,” Francin said. “The role of a board member is becoming increasingly more complex and, I imagine, the legal requirements for this role should be raised to match the level of expectation parents and taxpayers place on the school boards.” Sounds like common-sense, and I’m sure most others would agree. As is often the case when it comes to background checks, the only issue here will be funding. Will the board members have to pay? Will the school pay? Or perhaps even the parents will pay for the background checks? Regardless, it’s another step in the right direction to obtaining a safer environment for our children.]]>

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