Protecting our children is always a top priority. While we want to trust our teachers and coaches, the world is different place these days. Some schools are already requiring background checks on parents who want to attend school events. A group from San Diego is trying to get a legislation passed that would make it mandatory for coaches of youth sports to take a background check.
California Governor Jerry Brown has signed legislation authorizing private youth sports groups to require background checks for coaches and other volunteers. The legislation clarifies that the groups can access records kept by the Department of Justice, which includes nationwide data.
The group that pressed for this legislation to be passed is called the Alliance for Background Checks in Youth Sports. A representative from the group, Debra Rogers, said, “In this day and age we need that extra protection”. The group originally sought tougher provisions to make background checks mandatory, but ran into a problem with the opposition. With background checks costing upwards of $50, some feared that in low-income areas they would lose volunteers.
Despite the opposition, with Governor Brown’s signature the legislation is set in motion. Even though coaches and volunteers might have to pay to get their background check done, most are supporters of the bill. It is estimated that there are 5 million children participating in youth sports along with 875,000 coaches in California. When this law becomes effective on January 1st, all those children will be better protected.