Task Force Considers How Better To Screen New School Staffers

Jul 5, 2016

The committee may look at widening the scope of background checks for all new hires.
Credit Justine Warrington / https://www.flickr.com/photos/j_dub_warrington/2103025046

Indiana’s largest teachers’ union says legislators should look at all school staff as they take steps to reduce sexual misconduct in schools.

The legislature created the committee after a recent string of high-profile sexual misconduct cases involving school staff. Indiana State Teacher’s Association President Teresa Meredith says she hopes it will study how predators enter schools.

“I don’t know we prevent predators from somewhere else coming into Indiana," Meredith says. "We have to figure out if there is some kind of a loophole like that and if there is we’ve got to close it up.”

State Sen. Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis) agrees. He says the legislature’s summer study committee will try to define the scope of the problem.

"Are these isolated tragedies or something that is widespread throughout the school system in the state of Indiana," Merritt says.

Merritt wants to increase reference checks and provide a way for staff to report misconduct anonymously.