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Federal crime database a possibility for Brockton schools

Sep 08, 2011 Matt Roesly

School committee members in Brockton, Massachusetts, may soon meet to discuss improving background checks of potential employees, the Enterprise reports. The district currently uses the state's Criminal Offender Record Information system, which offers in-state criminal history information but doesn't provide any out-of-state records. Brockton officials failed to conduct proper background checks on its teachers in 2010, which led to allegations that former elementary school teacher Kevin Treseler raped a student, the Patriot Ledger reports. Charges in the case were eventually dropped. However, a new system - the Interstate Identification Index - offers a more extensive alternative, as it provides a federal database of criminals, the Enterprise notes. "We're investigating it," Tom Minichiello, vice chairman of the School Committee, told the news source. "Our goal is ... that the people involved with our children in our school system have been adequately checked in terms of their behavior. If there's a way to safeguard that, we're open to explore that." However, a barrier exists. It's unclear if the system can be used for licensing or employment purposes. The system is barred from this type of use in Wisconsin, but it's currently unknown if it's because of a state or federal restriction.