Letters to the Editor

Letter: Insult to teachers

February 21, 2014


To the editor:

Venerable teachers are now being required to arrange and pay for their fingerprints to be taken and submitted to law enforcement authorities. And the pretext? Supposedly to better guarantee the safety of Kansas children. Your editor’s recent justification for this demand (“Reasonable requirement,” Journal-World, Feb. 14) strikes me as both disrespectful to educators and shortsighted with regard to protecting children.

Imagine the veteran teacher, with 20 or 30 years of teaching experience. She arrives to school early, stays late, and every day, over countless years she attempts to impart knowledge and skills to the young children of Kansas. Her students learn not only the subject, but more importantly, how to think for themselves and to value education. In this process, these children also learn to admire and respect their teacher.  

Now this same teacher, if she wants to retain her job, is being forced to not only hand over the most personal of information, but to pay for the privilege of being treated like a criminal. And the young children watching her wipe the purple ink from her fingers learn that it is dangerous to question the policies of the state. “Don’t worry, little children,” the teacher comforts them, “our government and our leaders would never think to abuse their authority. We must always follow their orders because they know what is best for us. Tomorrow, you too will get to share your fingerprints (and more!) with them.”


Richard Heckler 4 years, 3 months ago

Are legislators subject to this same requirement?

Sam Crow 4 years, 3 months ago

Legislators are not alone in rooms with children.

Greg Cooper 4 years, 3 months ago

No, the majority of legislators in Kansas ARE children.

Leslie Swearingen 4 years, 3 months ago

I know for a fact that since the troubles in the Catholic Church everyone who is going to be around a child in any capacity has to be fingerprinted, vetted and then go through a training session.

My question is, have there been enough such actions in public schools to warrant such a response? How many students in public schools have been abused, physically or emotionally?

Sam Crow 4 years, 3 months ago

I used to work for a Fortune 100 company in a professional position. I underwent an extensive background check on a bi-annual basis, which included a criminal record check, credit check and driving record check. And yes I peed in a cup. It was seen by everybody for what it was, simply a condition of employment

That is not unusual in the world of big business.

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

James Howlette 4 years, 3 months ago

Did you have to pay for your screenings yourself?

Sam Crow 4 years, 3 months ago

I will agree that if it is a required condition of employment, the employee not bear the cost.

However, the letter writer was concerned more with "being forced to not only hand over the most personal of information" and "being treated like a criminal" and " disrespectful to educators."

A fingerprint would only be necessary once in a teaching career in the state. Teachers must also pay fees for licensing and continuing credit hours as a condition of employment, which are significantly more costly.

So, financially speaking, what is the difference between one fee versus another?

James Howlette 4 years, 3 months ago

Well, since this is a new thing and not one of the expenses the LTE writer presumably knew about before beginning a teaching career, I don't think it matters if the other expenses are higher. It just seems like another way to nickel and dime them.

I will agree that the LTE writer is a bit OTT with some of the rhetoric.

John Graham 4 years, 3 months ago

The fee is $50. Hardly a deal breaker. Simply increase the license fee to include this new fee.

Greg Cooper 4 years, 3 months ago

Bart, oh, Bart. Why must you make everything so brutal? You know teachers are not paid to say such stupid things, so why even try to make that a fact? You are so often thoughtful and deep, and then, bang, you blow it all by being snide and untruthful. Not much difference between you and the government, I'd say.

James Howlette 4 years, 3 months ago

Because the church/private industry weren't doing the job well enough.

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