Private School Applicants Should Be Vetted Similar to Those in Public Schools

Posted by Kristina Taylor
August 12, 2011

Private School Applicants Should Be Vetted Similar to Those in Public Schools

While public school teachers have for many years been required to submit to a thorough background check, private school teachers have largely not been under such standards. Though several states have made background checks for private school teachers and staff a requirement, many others still don’t have such laws in place, leaving thousands of children vulnerable to criminals and other unsafe adults who shouldn’t have access to our nation’s youth.

One such state currently working to change this law is Wisconsin. A new bill introduced by Rep. Tamara Grigsby, D-Milwaukee, with colleagues Andy Jorgensen, D-Fort Atkinson; Cory Mason, D-Racine and Sandy Pasch, D-Whitefish Bay, would bring private schools funded by taxpayer dollars into compliance with requirements at public schools — including subjecting those teachers and staff to background checks.

While that’s a step in the right direction, those in charge of private schools that aren’t yet in subjected to state laws regarding background checks should still give careful consideration to adopting the process, if they haven’t already. The expense of such pre-employment screening, while a consideration, is considerably less than the potentially astronomical legal fees, not to mention the anguish and stress, that a private school would be subjected to if a problem was found or a crime occurred involving a member of the school’s staff who wasn’t properly vetted in a thorough employment screening process.

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