Will Parent Background Investigations Keep Our School Kids Safe?

According to WTHITV10, the parents of students at South Vermillion Middle School, in Clinton, Indiana, found an unexpected sheet of paper in their children's registration packets this year. Mixed among the school calendar and rules sheets was a form for permission to conduct personal background checks, in other words, parent background investigations.

Complete background checks are becoming a more standard practice for school districts who want to have their bases covered, and prevent adults with prior criminal records from being able to participate in special events.

John Scioldo, Van Duyn Elementary's principal and South Vermillion's School Safety Specialist, said, "...we're talking about plays, field trips, anything where you are going to be in close proximity to the students." He went on to talk about the kinds of criminal records that would effect a parent or guardian's ability to participate in school events.

Would routine parent background investigations prevent you from participating at your child's school?

Of course, some criminal records matter more than others. A DUI, or old misdemeanor offenses may not trigger a red flag. However, a record of violent crime-related convictions or drug dealing convictions are 100% a No-Go in Scioldo's book. These complete background checks are used to screen anyone who will be in close proximity to students at any school event, including attending plays or recitals, volunteering in the classroom or at a school festival, or even visiting a child's classroom party.

Once the forms are collected, the school's secretaries run the background check forms against the Indiana State Police background check system. The results are then be handed over to Principal Scioldo, who has the final say in who is permitted on campus and who isn't.

How complete are school-led background investigations?

While we commend school districts on doing all they can to help keep their students safe, we have to wonder if these school-run background investigations are really effective. Are they complete background checks? Or are they only showing a small, or incomplete, snapshot of a person's criminal record. Running an accurate background check takes time and energy, especially on adults who have lived in a variety of different states or counties.

What Do You Think?

What do you think about the idea of running background investigations on parents? We'd love to read your comments.

Mike Garroutte, owner of Linked Investigations, is a licensed California Private Investigator. He has run professional and personal background investigations for more than 30 years. If you are interested in running a background check on an individual, or are interested in learning what your background check (or a national criminal background check) says about you, please contact us or give us a call - 888-464-5374. We are confident that our complete background check services are as thorough and accurate as possible.

Published on: 
August 1, 2013
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