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Massachusetts arrest highlights need for more stringent background screenings

Apr 04, 2011 Matt Roesly

Massachusetts arrest highlights need for more stringent background screenings
Nothing is more important than the well-being of young people in school as they learn nessecary skills to use throughout their lives. A recent rape case in Massachusetts has highlighted the added need for background screenings for those working with children.
 School officials in Brockton have decided to make the screenings for those in the school system more stringent after they failed to conduct a full background check of a math tutor who was recently charged with raping a third-grade student. Officials at Angelo Elementary School had sent paper work on the suspect, Kevin Treseler, but thanks to a processing error, the papers were never handed over to the state. One of the ways that the school will change its procedure is by making sure it receives the outcomes of all criminal background checks, unlike before, when it was only contacted if a criminal conviction was revealed. A spokesman for the school, Jocelyn Meek, said that even if the criminal background screening had been done properly, nothing would have shown up on Treseler's record. "There would not have been any convictions on his criminal background check so that would not have prevented him from participating in the program," she said in an interview with the Herald. "We would have not been required to do it. We do it anyway because we think that it is important."
Treseler, who is currently a student at Stonehill College, recently plead not guilty to two counts of indecent assault and battery on child and two counts of rape of a child, and was held on $20,000 bail. He was also ordered not have any contact with children and suspended by Stonehill. Local school committee members said that the fact that a proper screening never took place put the children in jeopardy. Ward 7 School Committee member Timothy Sullivan said that no person should be exempt from having his or her background heavily scrutinized. "If somebody has not been background checked, they should not be working in Brockton Public Schools," Sullivan said in an interview with the Brockton Enterprise. "I don't care if they're seniors at Stonehill College, they should not be working until they get background checked