Criminal background checks broaden

Published 9:43 am Tuesday, October 2, 2012

WINTON – The Hertford County Board of Education approved the second reading of a policy requiring additional people to be subject to criminal records checks.

The new policy is to be put in place to make sure that everyone who comes into regular contact with students has been checked, according to Frances Bazemore, the district’s Student Services Director.

“We are requesting an expansion of our current policy,” Bazemore said.

According to the policy approved by the board, those who will need to have criminal record checks will now include independent contractors who carry out duties customarily performed by school personnel, rehired employees who have had a break in public school service, coaches, tutors, mentors or volunteers who work in settings with students not directly supervised by an employee of Hertford County Public Schools.

The board already required criminal record checks for applicants and/or newly hired employees including substitutes.

The policy says that a person will be rejected for any of those positions if the criminal record checks reveals a history that indicates the employee will pose a threat to the physical safety of students or personnel or has demonstrated that he or she does not have the integrity or honesty to fulfill duties of a public school employee.

Conviction of a crime, as far as the policy is concerned, includes a plea of guilty, nolo contendere, no contest or the equivalent or a verdict or finding of guilty in a court of law or military tribunal.

School board vice chair Sheila J. Porter made the motion to accept the policy with board member John D. Horton offering a second. It passed without objection.

The board also approved a new policy on intra-district transfers. The policy was updated to include language that determines transfers from the Hertford County Early College High School.