By: KDKA-TV News Staff
HARRISBURG (KDKA) — Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is warning school districts in the state that background checks into employees’ criminal histories are necessary after a recent investigation revealed some districts are not doing their due diligence.
“In the course of a criminal investigation, we learned that some public schools in Pennsylvania may not be properly checking the statewide child abuse database and maintaining records for every employee,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “The law requires that school districts check and keep these records because we need them to help keep children safe. We shared our findings with every district as a warning call so that Pennsylvania children are better protected in the future.”
In Pennsylvania, employees must be cleared by the state’s child abuse database, and school districts must consult with the FBI and State Police on all volunteers’ and employees’ criminal histories, should any offenses exist on record.
“Our children look to their teachers, principals, coaches and school secretaries with respect and trust, and districts need to show they have performed their due diligence to uphold that trust and protect their students,” Attorney General Shapiro said in the letter sent to all Pennsylvanian School Districts. “My office works every day to uphold the law, and Title 23 is one law that cannot be ignored. It must be followed and this is why I’ve sent this letter to our 500 districts.”
You can read the full letter here.