NSBA Legal Clips
Archived entries for background checks

Parent’s lawsuit claims Georgia district banned her for posting concealed weapon permit online

A parent volunteer banned from her child’s school has filed suit in federal court against the Richmond County Board of Education alleging that the ban was issued because she posted a photo of her concealed weapons permit on Facebook

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Convicted felon challenges Texas district’s hiring policy rejecting job application

According to the Southeast Texas Record, Norris Rogers has filed suit against Pearland Independent School District after it rejected his application for employment based on a previous felony drug conviction.

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300+ school board members in New Jersey facing removal for failing to comply with criminal background check law

According to a New Jersey Department of Education (NJDE) official, approximately 350 local school board members across the state must resign their positions immediately after failing to complete a criminal background check now mandated by state law, says The Star Ledger.

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New Jersey enacts law requiring criminal background checks for local school boards

Governor Chris Christie has signed into law a bill that requires board of education members statewide to undergo background checks, says the Record. The law also disqualifies trustees from serving on the board if they have been convicted of certain first- and second-degree crimes, including any offense involving the manufacture, transportation, sale, possession, and distribution or habitual use of a controlled substance. Any crime involving the luring of a child, robbery, burglary, terroristic threats, bias intimidation, and aggravated assault would also disqualify a board member.

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Parents of student sexually assaulted by teacher sue Ohio school district for failure to conduct proper background check

Claiming their daughter was sexually assaulted by her art teacher at West Muskingum High School (WMHS), Courthouse News Service says the parents have filed a federal lawsuit against the West Muskingum County Board of Education (WMCBOE) alleging the school district ignored his history of “lewd and inappropriate relationships” with his students, and concealed and failed to report it after they knew it. The Doe family’s suit charges that had the WMCBOE bothered to check, they would have learned that Andrew Hoffer, currently in state prison, had been forced to resign from his previous teaching position for his “inappropriate sexual remarks and innuendos to female students during class time.”

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School district employee’s dismissal for 30 year-old expunged drug trafficking conviction does not violate Ohio constitution

The Ohio Supreme Court, in a 5-2 decision, has held that a 2007 statutory revision extending the state criminal background check requirement to administrative employees in school districts, which led to the termination of an administrative employee who had an expunged 30 year-old drug trafficking conviction, does not violate the Ohio Constitution. Specifically, the court found that the revision passed muster under two clauses in the state constitution: one against impairment of contracts and one prohibiting retroactive laws.

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School districts are barring parents with criminal convictions from volunteering at school

As school districts increasingly using background checks to weed out volunteers with criminal pasts, reports the Associated Press in the Morning Sentinel, a number of parents are being barred under school district policies that disqualify anyone with a felony record. These policies raise two questions: should parents with records, especially for offenses not connected to children, be automatically barred from volunteering? And how should schools reconcile their need to protect students with the public’s interest in helping offenders rejoin society?

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