By: Tonya Mead, CFE, PI, MBA,MA Educational Psychology
Campus Safety Magazine published an article on pre-employment screening practices of k-12 school systems throughout the country in 2015. At the time, 32 states did not require background checks for volunteers, 12 had no requirement for screening contractors and 5 states exempted background checks for bus drivers and athletic coaches.
The Protecting Students from Sexual and Violent Predators Act sponsored by Patrick J. Toomey from Pennsylvania and co-sponsored by 1 Democrat and 11 Republicans passed the House but stalled in the Senate. The Act would have required schools to conduct criminal background checks and the Sexual Offender registries. Setting national standards for the protection of our most vulnerable is on the back-burner. Likewise, rigorous accountability measures to safeguard other school resources like funds, facilities and equipment.
Rigorous screening, accountability controls, and verification measures could have prevented a fake doctor from providing fraudulent physicals on school grounds, or thwarted a scam involving school districts in 26 states’ receipt of phony invoices for educational supplies that were never ordered or delivered.
Tonya J. Mead, CFE, PI, MBA, MA, Certified K-12 Administrator and School Psychologist is author of Fraud in Education: Beyond the Wrong Answer and president of Shared Knowledge, LLC https://ishareknowledge.com