Though the story is from a few years ago, it is still applicable today. A high school student was stunned when she saw a familiar face – that of a convicted rapist – working on campus.
The registered sex offender, Richard Briggs, was a part-time elevator mechanic for a company contracted by the Department of Education. Though there were policies regarding background checks and fingerprinting teachers and school administrators, due diligence seemed to be somewhat lax when it came to vendors.
When asked, the elevator repair company reported it “hadn’t asked Briggs about his criminal history and, as a small company, wasn’t required to do background checks and fingerprinting.”
Some school districts in the country, however, require that contractors vet their employees. For instance, the Texas Department of Education requires school district contractors to obtain “state and national criminal history background searches on their employees who will have direct contact with students.”
Protecting children and teenagers must be the top priority for schools, and their background check policies must extend beyond instructors, assistants, and school administrators to include contractors as well as other personnel such as volunteers.
There are ways to limit future situations such as this:
- Adopt a policy that requires all vendors or contractors to conduct, at their expense, background checks on their employees who work on campus.
- The school and/or a specific unit may audit a contractor’s background check process, to ensure compliance with school standards, at any time.
- All contractor employees have the responsibility to self-disclose any misdemeanor or felony convictions that occur while assigned to the school within three business days of the conviction or upon return to a school assignment.
- Failure to comply with the terms of this policy may result in the termination of the contract with the school.
- Require a clause in all vendor and contractor agreements asserting their understanding and acknowledgement to comply with the background check policy.
Whether you’re a vendor, contractor, or school district, TruDiligence provides the due diligence you require to ensure compliant employment screening. Contact us today for more information on how we can help.