Dear Editor,

My volunteering with the Vail School District has highlighted a dramatic need for an improvement in their fingerprint and background checking system. Hourly workers and volunteers have to undergo a thorough background and fingerprint check when initially hired. But, unless they have a break in work service, they are never again required during employment to have another background or fingerprint check, even if they have worked 10, 20 or 30 or more years. This seems dangerous in our current situation of increased school violence.
While the school district says this is “in compliance” we do not know in compliance with who/what? Even if “in compliance,” in an absolute sense, in a current high-risk environment at schools, this is insufficient and must be improved by the increased systematic frequency of checks. By comparison to the professionals (teachers/administrators), this is very lax checking. Professionals are required to obtain, before hiring, an IVP card from DOJ which provides the school district an ongoing continued monitoring of behavior that might impact their qualification to have immediate student association/contact. Plus, they are required to be re-certified every six years at their own expense.
Why take the chance in this risky environment by making a mistake in employee background/fingerprint checking? A mistake here is nonrecoverable and results in unbelievable pain/grief. The very small addition of six-year certification of the hourly and volunteers, like the professional, might reduce a lot of the risk.

Readers are welcome to comment on this situation by an email to the editor of this paper.

Ewing Jones
Vail Resident

About author View all posts

Guest Author