With the start of schools around the country, there has been a subtle flurry of headlines related to parents who are unable to volunteer at their children’s schools. Though it might immediately sound like the moms and dads are being denied access to their kids, it’s more likely that they couldn’t pass a background screening process.
Many schools have begun adopting a policy that only allows adults to volunteer if they can pass a basic background screening. Typically, these types of background screenings check criminal histories (e.g., sex crimes, drug problems) and, if the volunteer position involves handling money, credit histories as well.
If the parents do not pass, the school is left with no choice but to deny them the opportunity to volunteer.
While there are certainly some groups that feel it’s “unfair” to use background screenings in this manner, we believe that it’s a great way to protect children from would-be predators. Without background screening measures in place, the unthinkable can (and, unfortunately, sometimes does) occur. And no school can afford that.
In the end, it’s better for everyone… even if it does ruffle a few feathers along the way.