News & Resources

Illinois school board tighten pre-employment screening process

Oct 06, 2011 Matt Roesly

Changes to the Freeport, Illinois, School Board's pre-employment screening and background check policies were proposed at a recent board meeting, the Journal Standard reports. The changes would strengthen the current screening process, despite communications specialist Stephanie Helms' claim that Freeport's check system is unflawed. "We currently do conduct background checks that we think are pretty thorough," Helms told the news source. "We just want to make them stronger. This is strictly a procedural thing, where we are adding to what's there." If accepted, the changes would allow district members to check potential employees against the Statewide Sex Offender database and the Violent Offender Against Youth database. Adding these lists to the district's policy will ensure that they're part of the criminal background check. Furthermore, additional provisions would require that checks comply with the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act. Employees whose checks turn up convictions or omitted facts will also be subject to discharge. According to WIFR-TV, the extra screening will allow board members to get an "in-depth look at future staff members."