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Lax School Background Checks put Children at Risk…

by Desiree Bryant 8/14/2008 12:21:00 PM

On August 11th, ClarksvilleOnline, published a commentary from a concerned parent about a 120 day sentence a teacher received for raping a student from Northeast High School in Clarksville, Tennessee. If thorough background checks had been conducted by his three former schools, he would not have been working with kids.

The teacher had over a dozen reported rapes from three other schools and a prior conviction. Similar incidents are in the headlines almost daily, which is a clear indication that schools are not taking background checks seriously when hiring teachers.

Background checks are necessary in making accurate and effective hiring decisions, particularly with teachers, day care providers, coaches, counselors, or anyone working with kids.

Sex offenders are released from prisons every day and integrated into our society. Many of these offenders serve less time than non-violent criminals.

If you haven’t inquired about background checks at your schools and other youth organizations, here are some key background check searches that you should ask about:

  • Social Security Trace – provides information on names used and where the person lived
  • State and Federal Criminal History – searches all state and federal criminal records
  • County Criminal Search – pulls county court records from the counties where the person lived
  • Sex Offender Search – searches state and federal sex offender records
  • Past-employment Verifications – contacts former employers directly

For more information and resources on background checks that will help protect you and your children, please visit or


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