Iowa Lawmakers Weigh Background Checks For All Iowa School Emplo - FOX 18 Quad Cities News and Weather

Iowa Lawmakers Weigh Background Checks For All Iowa School Employees

Posted: Updated:
Iowa Lawmakers Weigh Background Checks for All Iowa School Employees Iowa Lawmakers Weigh Background Checks for All Iowa School Employees

Iowa lawmakers are discussing a change that many of us thought was already in place-background checks for all public school employees in the state.

Teachers and bus drivers already submit to background checks, but non-licensed employees are not required to.

Parent Gary Dumerauf says, "I always expected that it was already done, I'm kind of shocked it never was."

Fellow parent Jennifer Simpson says, "I would assume that we would already have been background checking anybody who would be exposed to our children in the school, or any type of school function."

Dumerauf, Simpson and many other parents picking up their children from school all thought Iowa already required its public school employees to pass a background check. Lawmakers are pushing a bill through that would require those checks. It would also require the school districts to run them again every five years.

"It's surprising to me that a place you send your children everyday you're not sure if you're putting them in the right situation if you don't know that everyone is safe to be around," says Simpson.

Illinois school districts have required these comprehensive background checks for several years now, but not every Iowa school district will lag behind this potential law change. Davenport already background checks all of its employees.

"Even our temp-at-will employees, we do retired teachers, each of them receives a background check, we even do a background check on our volunteers, it's a different type of background check, but it is still a rigorous one," says district spokesperson Dawn Saul.

She says the district strengthened its volunteer background checks over the last year, because parents want to be sure everyone from the janitor to the cook is safe to be around their kids.

"It does matter because those people are still exposed to their children and if it's someone with a history of being a sexual predator or other things, that would be my biggest concern," says Simpson.

It's a concern lawmakers hope to ease.

The law change passed the Iowa House Tuesday.

It needs to be reviewed by the State Senate.

Powered by WorldNow