A whopping total of 266 employees of the Chicago Public School (CPS) District will require additional screening after they were “flagged” following background checks conducted this summer. That means that while they’re not playing “hooky,” they won’t be going back to work on the first day of school either.
Nearly 60 of the flagged employees were teachers, according to the Chicago Tribune. Another 245 were also barred because they refused to submit their fingerprints.
CPS CEO Janice Jackson says only the employees who had arrest records or a history of violence, sexual misconduct or dangerous criminal activity were banned. The district has immediate plans to conduct investigations to understand the circumstances of each employee.
The school district was encouraged to overhaul its background check system in June after the Chicago Tribune found some district employees who abused students had previous arrest records.
The recent background checks were comprehensive, covering not only teachers, but vendors, custodians, engineers and school bus drivers. The district is still in the process of collecting school volunteer fingerprints. There is also the possibility that employees who don’t submit their fingerprints could lose their jobs.
In addition to criminal activity, background checks can also uncover lies on applications and if an employee is in the U.S. illegally. However, there is no indication that CPS banned employees for those infractions.
GroupOne Background Screening would like to provide some best practices for conducting better background checks. They include:
• Establish a standard screening policy;
• Require every single applicant to provide complete, accurate and consistent data;
• Conduct comprehensive criminal checks;
• Verify education, credentials and employment;
• Order motor vehicle reports for all candidates;
• Conduct international background checks;
• Screen vendors, contractors, volunteers and temporary employees;
• Reassess your background check systems and policies regularly.