Should background checks be required for all school workers?

It’s where students spend a good chunk of their day.

They climb onto the school bus, wind their way through the crowded aisle, and find an empty seat. When the bus starts, so does their school day.

But when the bus, with its wild, noisy crowd, rolls, who’s really behind the wheel? Rules for school bus drivers can vary plenty between districts; not all drivers are required to pass a background check.

Should that change?

While teachers face background checks prior to employment, other staff don’t always have the same requirements, especially in smaller districts. Staff like bus drivers, janitors, secretaries, or food service employees can be exempt from these standards.

It’s a cause that’s ignited plenty of concern as states explore solutions.

That concern is understandable, especially when you consider stories like the one CBS News uncovered this summer. Their news report on bus driver safety included examples of drivers who were arrested for DUI, assault, and other serious crimes.

Also part of the problem this year? Driver shortages. Due to the low unemployment rate, drivers were hard to come by and some schools even had to delay their start.

But no matter what type of school worker it is, a strong screening process can be one of the best ways to ensure your school district has recruited high quality candidates.

“There isn’t anything more important than background checks,” Launi Schmutz, a transportation director in Utah, said in this article. “It is a large part of keeping children safe.”

Background checks can mean different things to different people, though. That’s why it’s important to connect with a professional screening company like ClearStar. Our screening complies with applicable local, state, and federal laws while providing you with reliable decision-making information. Contact us today to learn more.

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