(WWLP) – Schools in our state are becoming a little safer, as districts this month started fingerprinting teachers for national background checks.
Up until now, teachers, administrators, bus drivers, and other employees who work with students were checked through the state’s CORI system.
But now, prints will be sent to the FBI to be crosschecked through their national databases, which will increase the likelihood of finding out about an employee’s past criminal activity; even if it happened far away. Massachusetts is actually the last state to fingerprint school employees on a national scale.
Jeff Wulfson, a deputy commissioner at the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education admitted to the Boston Globe that it is overdue, and at least one father that 22News spoke with agreed.
“As a parent, everybody knows safety is the most important thing, and we’re all looking out for our kids on a daily basis. Anything that can help provide a safe environment for our kids, I’m all in favor of,” Matthew Johnson of Holyoke said.
Right now, staff members have to pay the processing fee, which is $55 for licensed educators and $35 for other employees. According to the Globe, teachers’ unions are pushing for school districts to pay for it.