What Is Included in Background Checks for Teachers?

Teachers are in a unique position because they work with children, some of whom may be very young. Administrators, parents, and the government want to do everything they can to protect children in school and ensure that they are educated in a secure environment. One way to keep kids safe is to conduct background checks on prospective teachers before they are hired to find out if they have a criminal record or any other red flags.

Types of Background Checks for Teachers

School districts usually conduct a federal criminal background check on applicants for teaching positions. Before a national criminal registry was created, people with criminal records could move from state to state, and employers would not find out about convictions in other states. With the new system, an employer can see convictions for crimes committed in any state and the penalty, including prison time, probation, or a fine. Depending on the nature of the crime, an applicant might or might not be able to get a job as a teacher with a criminal record. Some serious offenses will automatically bar a person from working with children. Laws vary from state to state.

Some school districts conduct a state background check instead of a federal one. This will only show crimes committed in the state where the person is applying for a job. If a person is on probation for a crime committed in another state, that will show up in the background check. Some state background checks also include a review of civil cases.

Many states check the backgrounds of people applying for teaching positions to find out if they have a record for child abuse or neglect. A background check will show any previous convictions for offenses involving children, the ages of the children involved, and the sentence that was imposed in the case. Most states will not allow someone with a criminal record for child abuse to work in a job as a teacher.

A school district can also conduct other background checks. This can include a review of education and employment history, military records, and credit reports.

How to Keep Students Safe

Schools want to make sure they are hiring only qualified people who will keep students safe. Conducting background checks on prospective teachers is a critical part of the hiring process. If your school is planning to hire a new teacher, protect your students by conducting thorough background checks. Contact DataCheck today to learn about how our background checks can help you hire the right person and keep students in your school safe.