Safety in schools has always been an important subject. With the recent school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, schools are increasing their security measures even more. Many schools are adding cameras, buzzer systems to enter the building, and ID badges for employees. Some schools are taking their security measures even farther, by performing background checks on the students’ parents.
When parents went to South Vermillion middle school in Indiana this year to register their children, their registration packets contained a new document. Inside was a personal background check form that parents had to fill out if they want to attend any school functions.
“We make all of our parents fill out a background check if they would like to come to the special events we have at school. So we’re talking about plays, field trips, anything where you are going to be in close proximity to the students.” – John Scioldo, South Vermillion School Safety Specialist
If the background check should show that a parent has had a violent criminal history or a drug dealing conviction on their record, they would not be allowed to volunteer for or attend any of the school functions where children are present. Parents are encouraged to fill out and return their background check form before the school year, but have until no later than one week before the event they would like to attend. Each school has access to the Indiana State Police background check system. Once the form is filled out, the school secretaries are responsible for running the check under the supervision of the principal.
Most of the parents are in support of the background checks. The safety of the children is extremely important, but is this going too far? Do you think parents should have to go through a background check to see their child in the school play or concert?