Background Screenings ban some parents from schools

Criminal background checks are not only keeping teachers with prior convictions out of schools, they are keeping some parents from volunteering where children need them the most.

One county in Louisville, Kentucky has rejected hundreds of parents from being able to volunteer at their childrens’ schools because of past criminal records. Some of the parents being flagged had committed crimes decades ago, but the school has a strict policy against convicted felons. Even individuals with non-violent convictions, which had nothing to do with children, have been blocked.

This is not the first school system in the U.S. to bar parents with criminal records from volunteering. Two years ago, parents in a Michigan county lobbied the school board to change their policy. They asked the city to consider volunteers with criminal backgrounds on a case-by-case basis instead banning them across the board.

Last year, a Rhode Island school system revised its policy after a mother was prohibited from volunteering after a background check revealed of a felony drug conviction that predated the birth of her daughter. Now, the county doesn’t automatically disqualify parents with drug or other offenses, and gives consideration to each individual’s history. Parents are also allowed to plead their case by presenting proof of rehabilitative efforts and demonstrate current community involvement.

What do you think? Should parent volunteers in be banned from chaperoning field trips because crimes they committed in the past?

For more information on employee screenings and criminal background checks, visit

Kristina Taylor
In 1989, Kristina began her career as a customer service representative at the newly formed American Tenant Screen, Inc. Ten years later, she pioneered tenant background screening on the Internet. As a long-standing member of the National Multifamily Resident Information Council (formerly the National Association of Screening Agencies) Kristina gains insight into the trends of the tenant screening industry to better understand the current and future needs of their clients.

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