National Background Checks for Teachers - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

09-13-07

National Background Checks for Teachers

Keeping your kids safe... Just one reason legislatures have passed a new law requiring more extensive background checks for all teachers.

The Board of Education has decided that the standard state wide background checks are no longer good enough to ensure safety on campuses. Teachers and staff will now have to undergo nationwide searches... And it won't be just criminal history school districts will be looking at.

Allegations of misconduct by a teacher will also go on record... Even if they are not found to be at fault. Something some experts say could cause problems for school districts.

Monte Leggett with Leggett Investigations says, "It really depends on how they put into play and what perimeters they set, and how they use this information they get. If they are not going to hire them based on an allegation, I can see problems with that, because like I said the persons innocent until proven guilty."

Teachers will have the opportunity to have an allegation taken off their report and keep their record clean.

Laurie Cizon with the Canyon School District says, "The employee has the right to go to the State Board of Education and make a case as to why that should not go on his or her records."

Whether or not they choose to remove the blemish... Leggett says having allegations on record, will change how those situations are handled when they come up, and how teachers act around their students.

The law will go into effect in 2011, though some school districts are already getting started. Here locally, Canyon ISD is planning on nationally background checking all of their employees before the school year is over.

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