News & Resources

School district bans convicted felons from being hired

Feb 04, 2011 Matt Roesly

Jackson City, Florida, recently changed its laws, making it illegal to hire convicted felons in schools.
 One of the first people affected by this law was former Jackson City councilman Johnny Dodd, who was told that he would no longer be able to keep his position as a substitute teacher in Jackson-Madison County Schools, The Jackson Sun reports. Issues arose recently over the fact that Dodd was hired in 2006 despite a 1987 felony conviction for grand larceny. Many who were in leadership positions with the school said that they had not taken his record into account when making the hire in 2006. Roy Weaver, the superintendent at the time, said that he had not given Dodd any special treatment. "I don't recall making any exceptions in his case," Weaver said in an interview with the news source. "He wasn't a running buddy of mine that I tried to sneak into the system." The call for stricter background screenings took center stage recently in other parts of Florida. WTVT-TV reports that after a youth coach in Dunedin was arrested on child pornography charges, people in the city have been calling for more background screenings of those working with children.