By Robyn Kunz
Everyone wants children to be safe in school, but people tend to focus on the threat of outsiders. But, in reality, children end up spending most of their time with teachers and school staff. Because children spend so much time with these people and often trust them, it’s vital that school staff are safe, responsible hires.
In addition to children’s safety, you also need to consider the quality of the education they’re receiving. Teachers should have the proper credentials and qualifications in order to teach their students effectively.
You wouldn’t hire someone as a mathematics teacher just because they aced their high school algebra. Instead, you would hire someone who has a strong understanding of the subject matter and knows how to answer student questions, grade their abilities, and prepare lectures.
Not making the right hire can lead to many problems, like a high turnover rate for teachers and poor student results. Therefore, running a background check on any potential teachers will show you if they have a license or a degree and will help you avoid a bad hire.
Running background checks can also help schools avoid potential financial and staffing issues. The federal government requires schools to run certain background checks on employees. And some states require additional background checks be run. Failing to perform these checks can mean a loss of funding or even people losing their jobs.
The Background Checks You Need to Run to Keep Your Students Safe
To keep your students safe and ensure they get the proper education, it’s essential to make sure the people around them are safe. Below are some basic background checks that should be done. State and federal laws may require more for certain schools depending on location and what kind of school it is.
Criminal background check
Criminal background checks can ensure that the job applicant hasn’t been convicted of violent crimes or crimes related to children. Many times, people who have been convicted of child abuse, neglect, or kidnapping aren’t allowed to work in schools to protect the student body.
Sex offender list background check
Sex offender background checks can show whether the job candidate is a registered sex offender. Running this background check protects children from sexual predators that may only be interested in the job because of easy access to children.
Employment and education verification
Checking a job applicant’s employment history tells you whether the person is being truthful about their previous workplaces and if they have experience with certain job duties. Checking their education shows whether they have the needed skills and knowledge to teach.
Teaching license check
For a person to legally teach, they must have an up-to-date teaching license. Checking to see if the job applicant has a teaching license keeps your school out of legal trouble.
How to Stay Legally Compliant
Due to the sensitive information involved in background checks, they are highly regulated by federal and state laws. Unfortunately, many companies have been sued because they didn’t follow proper procedure. For example, Target was recently sued because their criminal background check process was judged to be discriminatory against different races.
Federal background check laws are relatively standard, but because the requirements of each state are different, it’s crucial to know what your state requires for background checks in the education industry. Complying with background check laws keeps your school out of legal trouble.
To comply with laws regarding background checks, it’s useful to find a company that performs background checks correctly. They can advise you on when you can run a background check, how to obtain permission from the job applicant, and they can run the background check for you.
Robyn Kunz is the chief compliance officer at Trusted Employees, which help businesses find the right talent and create a safe work environment for their employees, www.trustedemployees.com.