News & Resources

Lack of teacher background screening uncovered in Massachusetts city

Apr 26, 2011 Matt Roesly

According to Enterprise News, teachers and other school employees in Brockton, Massachusetts, have not undergone criminal background checks in more than three years, which puts the school department in violation of state law. According to superintendent Matthew Malone, Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) checks were carried out in 2007, but were not repeated as they should have been in early 2010. However, school committee members said they were recently told that all checks were up-to-date and the department was in compliance with the law. "If there’s any silver lining in any of this, it’s [that] we really have to look at our systems and make some changes to really increase levels of protection," said Malone, as quoted by the news source. New policies have now been put in place to ensure that CORI checks are not missed in the future, including required maintenance of two electronic databases that will show when the checks were last carried out. According to the Taunton Gazette, concerns about background checks arose after a former tutor at Angelo Elementary School in Brockton was charged with raping a third-grader.