Bus Driver Had “Fantastic Background Check”

Nick Fishman

For the past couple years, I’ve posted stories about insufficient school background checks around the time that my kids go back to school.  I resisted the urge this year, because quite frankly, I’m getting a little sick of listening to myself rant on the subject.

I found this letter from First Student Bus Company that CBS2 in Chicago published on Sunday where the company appears to be defending their current background screening procedures.  They refer to incidents such as being terminated by the Columbus Public School systems for failing to conduct proper background checks on their drivers as a thing of the past.  They say (about their screening program) that, “First Student’s pre-employment background checks are widely known as the most extensive in the industry and exceed state requirements. The company requires each prospective driver to pass federal, state and local checks, which include criminal (10 years), work (10 years) and driving (7 years) histories. Regular rechecks are conducted throughout an employee’s tenure with the company.”

I actually was tempted to post a something on our blog about their efforts to improve their background screening program and protect our students.  However, something told me that this had to be a reason for this letter.  Something else had to have happened.  I also am accustomed to hearing about these extensive screening programs, that upon further review, aren’t really extensive at all.  Sorry, it’s my job to be a skeptic, especially when it comes to background checks for those entrusted with our children.

Well, I’m glad I didn’t write that post.  Today, I found a story in the our local paper which details how a First Student Bus Company driver was pulled over with 41 kids on board for reckless driving.  The driver was later charged with driving under the influence of drugs.

This hits really close to home.  Why?  This practically happened in my back yard and by they way, First Student is the company that buses my kids to school.

This time a First Student spokesman said that “this driver went through FANTASTIC background checks”.  “Fantastic Background Checks”?  Very interesting.  Now, I’m going to reserve judgment until I know more,  but I would like to find out what a “fantastic background check” consists of.  I know what we consider to be a comprehensive background check and I know what the schools have been passing off as a “comprehensive background check”.  I hope we find that the school’s definition and the bus company’s are not the same.

I guess I’m going to start ranting again.

Nick Fishman
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Nick Fishman

Nick Fishman is the co-founder of EmployeeScreenIQ, a leading, global employment background screening provider, and serves as the company’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer. He pioneered the creation of EmployeeScreen University, the #1 educational resource on employment background checks for human resources, security and risk management professionals. A recognized industry expert, Nick is a frequent author, presenter and contributor to the news media. Nick is also a licensed private investigator in the states of Ohio and Texas.
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  • Susan

    In my “backyard” we have a bus driver who is married to a convicted and registered sex offender. I happen to know that it was a 7yr. old girl whom he molested. After seeing the newest story of the unfortunate young woman Jaycee Dugard, I wonder…just how safe are my children? Sometimes the wives are just as guilty as the husband. Did I mention she parks her bus in their yard? I feel this is makes our school system look bad. Why take the chance? I’m not saying this woman woul bring home a child to serve her husband sick fantasies, but no one expected that from the couple who held on to Jaycee for 18 yrs. and torturing her. I fear for my children and the children of our town. The superintendent knows the situation and does nothing due to the fact this woman is the vice president of our local union, and she fears what havic this will bring. Would love some advice on this matter. Thanks

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