All a criminal background check says is if you have been caught yet or not. I am not in favour of them.
I have had many a background check for various work related reasons, but I don't know that I think it is a good idea for parent volunteers when they are always working with a teacher. I mean, I go and pick up my kid everyday. If I go into the school, I sign in at the front office. I suppose there is potential that I might be alone in the hall with a child at some point. Should I have a background check to pick up my kid?
I don't think it is needed for supervised volunteers. For those who are alone with kids, yes definitely. But for the parents who are running bake sales and blowing up balloons with a teacher in the room, no I don't think it is necessary. In fact I think it would drive parents away who couldn't' afford the check.
I think it's a ridiculous waste of resources and am so glad my kids school does not do this.
I'm sorry, but it is ridiculous that every volunteer would need a background check. In the primary grades, parents will come in to run copies or cut out projects. They rarely have contact with children and wouldn't be alone with them. Other parents might listen to a child read or run flashcards with a student near the back/corner of the classroom. As others have said, parents volunteer for class parties or extracurricular activities. Parents also have the right to visit their child(ren)'s classrooms with a certain amount of notice. If I can sit in my child's class to make sure she is behaving, why wouldn't I be able to collate packets while I'm there? KWIM
Our volunteer policy is that anyone who might be alone with a child must have the fingerprint scan and TB test. Makes sense because they will be under the supervision of employees at all times.
Fingerprints and background checks are going to come back fine until there is a problem. A pedophile may have many victims before a conviction. A former special ed aide had sex with a student several times before she was fired and thrown in prison. A principal had been in our district for over a decade before he was arrested for arranging a meeting with who he thought was a 13 YO girl.
Are all those adults chaperoning field trips going to undergo a background check as well?
What about parents kids may come in contact with that volunteer at their local sports league in concessions or field clean up? (I know coaches and umpires/referees are required to undergo checks in most organizations already.)
My personal opinion it may be required as a means of employment or a regular volunteer working one on one with children... outside of that volunteers that are supervised should get a pass.
I understand what you are saying, but I guess that I just don't really get the 'if we cant identify all pedophiles, then lets not bother to try and keep any out of the schools' mentality. And I am definitely not someone who trusts %100 in a criminal record check. I had DH look in to the family services worker at my sons preschool (off the record so to speak) cause he is really friendly, they hang out in his office (with a closed door) and he gave DS toys and 'treats'. DH did a quick search, and he has been there for almost 20 years with no indications of anything inappropriate.....so probably just mommy paranoia. But even though I know that some people slip through the system and things can still happen, I also know that there are parents of DD's classmates that I am really glad can not spend time alone with her in the school, because they will not pass a criminal record check.
Mom to Arianna (5), Conner (3) and Trent (my baby)
I don't think I feel like "who-cares or why-bother."
I think I feel more that there are precautions in place. Aren't there already restrictions for people who have been convicted of sexual offences?
I don't think that violent criminals are clamoring to sit down with a bunch of kindergarten students and help them write the abc's.
Regular parents / or even the weird parents (every school has them) who are volunteering at the school, with a teacher in the room sounds VERY safe to me.
There are tons of parent volunteers at our school plus student teachers and I have never worried about it, nor will I. In a country that won't force proper background checks for gun buyers, it seems like an odd area to focus on and doesn't strike me as something that would be effective.
Laurie, mom to:
Nathaniel ( 11 ) and Juliet ( 7 )
Baking Adventures In A Messy Kitchen (blog)