Strengthened background checks being implemented for schools and organizations
Oct 11, 2012 Quinn Thomas
There has been a growing demand from parents and lawmakers to increase background checks on volunteers who interact directly with children, in response to recent allegations of misconduct. The San Diego Pacific Intercultural Exchange was recently suspended from continuing operations as allegations of sexual abuse cropped up in recent months, which some claim is due to a lack of internal examination of potential hires. Furthermore, the organization is being investigated for covering up the affair instead of fixing the problem outright, The Washington Post reported. Background checks and reviewing consumer credit reports are becoming commonplace in the hiring process. Tennessee has a very strict policy of enacting full checks on all potential hires that will come in contact with at least one student directly. Coaches, after school workers and mentors are all subject to the same regulations, which have been widely supported by strong-willed advocates, according to Decatur Daily. Some claim that the process is too expensive and means appropriating funds toward the hiring process that could be used in programs. A school in Warwick had to cancel its mentoring program because of new legislation that would see $26,000 in revenue being directed toward fees for checking criminal records and history, Warick Online discovered. However, parents want schools to err on the side of caution. "There’s no room for greed or sloppiness when you’re dealing with children,” Danielle Grijalva, director of the Committee for Safety of Foreign Exchange Students, told the Washington Post.