News & Resources

Florida school board wants stricter screening measures

Feb 11, 2011 Matt Roesly

The Manatee, Florida, School District continues to receive heat from state education leaders for failing to implement proper background screening measures, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports. Now, the district faces an audit that will review its hiring practices and whether or not the district followed state law when it comes to hiring contract workers. However, the district is fighting back, stating that the law does not fully outline which parties are responsible for background screening measures, including taking fingerprints. According to the paper, the district is required to ensure that sex offenders and others with criminal backgrounds do not have access to the school. But Manatee may be penalized after state officials accused the district of failing to adhere to regulations for a second time. The Jessica Lunsford Act, named for the third-grader murdered by a contracted school employee in 2005, mandates that schools fingerprint visiting workers. Manatee is just one of three districts that failed to follow the law during the 2009-2010 school year. Manatee isn't the only school district under fire for lacking screening efforts. According to the York Daily Record, the principal of Crispus Attucks YouthBuild Charter School, Newton H. Miller, was in violation for not disclosing a criminal record during the screening process.