Background Checks aren’t Foolproof

Jason Morris

I was going to post this article sans the comments.  I can’t hold back….I don’t agree with many of the statements here, notably:

“Personally, I feel everything is being done to keep our children safe,” Velkoff said.

Again, you can do background checks or you can do background checks properly.  I humbly submit my series Employment Screening 101 to the Fairfax county Public Schools.

Background Checks aren’t Foolproof

By Layla Wilder
Source: Fairfax County Times

As children return to school after a year when several Fairfax County Public Schools staff were arrested, those in charge of the school system’s hiring say they are doing everything possible to keep criminals away from students.

An unusually high number of school employees were arrested during the 2007-2008 school year, said Kevin North, head of the school system’s Human Resources Department.

As the 2008-2009 school year begins, the schools’ hiring staff will continue with its stringent approach to screening applicants, North said. Last year’s statistics proved that approach hasn’t always been successful, according to notifications from the county’s police.

Leonard Marsh, an assistant principal at Cub Run Elementary School, was arrested Oct. 30, 2007, for growing marijuana. Police arrested Marsh and his wife, Jinny, after narcotics detectives executed a search warrant at the Marshes’ home and found marijuana in packages and growing in a closet.

In May 2008, Rachel Smith, a teacher at the Chantilly Academy, was arrested and charged with possessing methamphetamine.

Thyra Eller-Cox, 42, was an administrative assistant at Greenbriar West Elementary School when she was arrested and charged with two counts of embezzlement in December 2007. She allegedly deposited school money into a personal bank account, police said.

Ted Velkoff, president of Chantilly High School’s PTSA, said the topic has been discussed at the group’s meetings. Administrators assure parents that everything is being done to hire quality staff.

“Personally, I feel everything is being done to keep our children safe,” Velkoff said.

Allan Barbee, a former investigator specialist for the county school system, said in November 2007 that about 5 percent of people applying for county school jobs have a prior criminal record.

They are required to undergo background checks from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the state police and the Virginia Department of Social Services.

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Jason Morris

President & Chief Operating Officer at EmployeeScreenIQ
A veteran screening and risk management professional, Jason Morris founded EmployeeScreenIQ in 1999 and acts as the company’s chief operating officer and president. Morris is a frequent speaker delivering captivating, interactive discussions on background checks, global screening, recruitment and staffing. He educates audiences in best practice initiatives as they relate to organizational employment screening programs. Morris has been quoted in numerous business and industry publications including The Wall Street Journal, MSNBC.com, USA Today, New York Times, among others. He is also a licensed private investigator in the states of Ohio, Illinois, New Jersey, Texas, Arizona and Nevada.
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