Archive for Friday, February 14, 2014

Editorial: Reasonable requirement

Fingerprinting and background checks are a reasonable way to screen educators who come in daily contact with Kansas students.

February 14, 2014


Requiring public school teachers and administrators to be fingerprinted to facilitate background checks is a reasonable way for the state to protect the safety of Kansas students.

It’s understandable that state teacher groups would oppose the policy that the Kansas State Board of Education decided this week to pursue, but the concerns voiced by teachers have to be weighed against the importance of identifying school personnel that might pose a physical or emotional threat to students.

The requirement for fingerprinting and background checks has been in place since 2002 for new educators applying for their initial licenses. The new rules will simply extend that requirement to teachers who had obtained their licenses before 2002. That will affect an estimated 35,000 educators across the state.

Among other things, the Kansas National Education Association objected to the fact that it would cost teachers about $50 to meet the requirement. That’s not a huge amount, but maybe individual school districts could consider sharing the expense. Instead of making teachers take time to schedule and complete the fingerprinting process on their own time, maybe districts could make the process more convenient by bringing technicians to the teachers, perhaps at an in-service event.

The kind of checks that will be required of teachers aren’t much different than those being required by many companies these days, and it’s important, for the sake of our children, that schools be able to check the backgrounds of teachers and administrators.

It’s unfortunate, in a way, that school districts and other employers see a need for this kind of check, but, especially for people who are responsible for children in public schools, the fingerprinting requirement doesn’t seem out of line.


Bob Zimmerman 4 years, 2 months ago

Get their DNA! Make them take polygraph tests! Have them pee in a cup!

We all know that public employees are either lazy or preverts..or both. Unless they own a gun...then they are OK.

Dan Dimmitt 4 years, 2 months ago

Its an easy problem to solve: just hire some of those demoralized TSA employees that you hear about and put two of them in every school. They would be almost as cheap to hire as those uncertified pseudo teachers the legislature has suggested, and we would be assured of a demoralized but secure pseudo educated society of some sort. What could be more reasonable than that?

Phillip Chappuie 4 years, 2 months ago

Is this brought to us by the folks for less government? Who is going to pay for this nonsense? And if it stands that this makes sense, bus up the bucks and do background checks and fingerprinting of all youth league coaches, rec center employees, referees, concession stand workers, all janitorial and groundskeeper staff, lifeguards, movie theater attendants, everybody at the mall. Yes, anybody who has any contact.

Sam Crow 4 years, 2 months ago

I used to work for a Fortune 100 company in a professional position. . I was required to pee in a cup. I also underwent an extensive background check on a bi-annual basis, which included a criminal record check, credit check and driving record check.

That is not unusual in the world of big business.

So I dont see a problem with someone teaching kids to have to be fingerprinted for a background check.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.