We know we can’t let just anyone into our children’s schools. While the majority of people who sign up to volunteer are genuinely interested in making the year magical for our children and are good people who can be trusted, there are always a few that can’t.
Clear Creek ISD has finally woken up to the perils of not conducting yearly background checks. So far, the district has been very lucky that no child has been harmed by a volunteer. But many children have not been so lucky:
- Five children in a public school district-run preschool were molested by a volunteer grandfather.
- Six children were molested by a 20-year-old school volunteer.
- At least six girls were molested by a 60-year-old elementary school volunteer.
- A 24-year-old school volunteer molested 23 children.
- A volunteer father was charged with 107 counts of sex crimes against children. He molested one of his daughter’s 14-year-old friends during a sleepover but was also volunteering at the school.
Has anyone ever gone through a CCISD background check? You fill out an online form. Very quickly (3-4 business days, maximum), you’re approved, because it appears to be a basic criminal history check. No one talks to your neighbors or employers to make sure you’re not a danger to these children. You’re just… in, like that. The policy for volunteers is further explained in GKG(LOCAL). Again, it’s not a very comprehensive background check, just pulling your criminal history.
It’s nice that CCISD is now requiring yearly background checks for volunteers, but it’s clear from the tragic stories above that it’s just not enough to protect our children. What CCISD needs to do is conduct more comprehensive background checks, especially for classroom volunteers. It also needs to supervise volunteers and report all suspicious behavior to the authorities.
There are plenty of things that won’t show up on a simple criminal background check. Let’s not have our own tragic story that someone links to from their blog, especially with someone who literally has defended child molesters for a living sitting on our Board of Trustees.
CCISD needs to do more. Period.