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Should background checks be done for school volunteers?

READ MORE: Should background checks be done for school volunteers?
At a New Hanover County PTA meeting this week, some said background checks shouldn't just end with principals and teachers. They said it might be a good idea to check up on school volunteers, and chaperones as well. Bill Garmon volunteers at his daughter's school in New Hanover County every chance he gets. He said he has never been asked for a background check. “It wouldn't bother me a bit. It shouldn't bother anyone who volunteers with the school system. If you have something in the past that you don't want to have come out of the closet so to speak, it makes you wonder if that person should be volunteering to begin with." Before having direct contact with a child, every school employee in New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender counties all undergo a background check. “We know that the adults that interact with them have to be checked just to make sure they are not in a dangerous situation,” said John Welmers, the NHC Assistant Superintendent. Officials in Pender and Brunswick counties said volunteers and chaperones are also required to have criminal checks. This is not the case in New Hanover County. John Welmers said it's not necessary. "As long as there is a teacher present with the students and visitor then we feel like we are in good shape." Checking into someone's past does not come cheap. Each school district sets aside thousands of dollars for criminal background checks. A county check costs just a few dollars, but a nation-wide criminal check can run into the hundreds. More than one hundred people volunteer at New Hanover County schools each year. With numbers like that, parents like Bill Garmon still think the county should take the extra precaution. "I think that is still needed, just for the safety for our children. Not that I think a volunteer would do anything, but in this day and age the question is still on the edge of your mind." New Hanover County Assistant Superintendent John Welmers said it is a touchy issue to check every parent that wants to visit their student. It can become a privacy issue and a slippery slope.

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Anytime someone is dealing

Anytime someone is dealing with kids on a regular basis, background checks should be performed

Background check

I volunteered in my child's school for 8 years. 2 of those years I was a full time volunteer and PTA secretary. I was at middle school everyday all day doing various activities and also spent many late hours at home calling to get other parents to do the same. If New Hanover county starts this it will be even harder to get help from parents on big projects. NONE of the parents were ever alone with the students during any event I can remember. I tutored many children one on one and that always took place in the library with others around. The only situation that i could think of for this is when one is handling cash money. One year i headed up a sale and was responsible for the money. I had over $3000.00 cash in my purse at a PTA meeting waiting to hand it over to the sales company. Granted I was well known at the school and trusted to do this but you never know. A pedophile probably will not take the risk of trying anything at a school. Normally they take months and months to groom their victims. Besides that a background check only shows up for people that have been CAUGHT. Perhaps regular volunteers that have no kids at the school should be checked.

It's ashamed that this

It's ashamed that this should be an issue...It really is something to think about. It doesn't matter what color you are, where you live, your financial background, your religious background, etc... Perverts are EVERYWHERE unfortunately! We have to PRAY, PRAY, PRAY...only GOD can help us.

BACKGROUND CHECKS ON VOLUNTEERS ARE MUCH NEEDED School officials and the school community as well as legislators must stand up and fix this nationwide problem. School volunteers with a history of molestation slipping through the cracks. For those of you who think that background checks of school volunteers are not nescessary, read this story and see if it changes your opinion The Volunteer had a documented history of sexual molestion in Texas Shortly after this school volunteer moved from Texas to Kansas, the school district in Kansas gave him access to students through school athletic programs for over 10 years. When allegations were made in Kansas during 2002, a criminal trial ensued to which 1989 prior bad acts were admitted as evidence. The school officials continued to support the volunteer even in light of his admission to touching young boys in 1989. The website listed above has newspaper articles as well as a criminal trial transcript in which the School Wrestling coach stated under oath Q Okay. Would you have felt the same way if you had known at the time that Johnny Aubrey had admitted to the Chief of Police in Borger, Texas, that he had put on rubber gloves and taken some lotion and masturbated a young man? MR. SWANSON: Object as speculation.\ THE COURT: Overruled. A (By Mr. Thomas Scott) My basic philosophy is everybody deserves a second chance. And with what I observed, I would have no problem with what Mr. Aubrey was doing. Q (By Mr. Shellenberger) Okay. Even if coupled with the fact that he was taking kids alone to his house for baths? A There again, I would have no problem with it. Q Okay. Thank you, sir. This line of questioning is unbelievable and it explains why this type of thing continues to happen all accross the nation. ...... To most, it is not important until it affects your child or grandchild.


no i have a record from when i was young and i have children in new hanover co schools i also have nieces and nephews so you telling me I should be denied because of my past? I did not kill anybody and I am not a pedophile. Let people live and stop judging them I know we got to protect our children there should be some conditions! shikj

If you didn't do anything

If you didn't do anything horrible, then you wouldn't have anything to worry about. Stop crying.

Background Checks

Are we going to background a parent who chaperones on one field trip a year? That would be an unnecessary expense. As long as the volunteers are never left alone with the children I don't see where it is necessary. Now if it is someone who volunteers throughout the year and is directly involved with children I would have to say yes to a background check.

Give me a break

Are we really at that point in this world? Parent with three children, nice job home,perfect life..... Yes... By all means... Waste the money to prove on paper that they are a worthy individua... I know a Christian mother with her Masters degree,...Businss owner, nice home, two children, husband... The perfect life and family.... Children are straight A students, extra activities, ballet, the perfect picture of an American Parent. She volunteers at her son's school.. When she was 18, (23 years ago) she was mixed up in the wrong crowd and received two felonies for drugs and theft.. A system like this would punish her and forever shame her family.. There is no common sense when it comes to school policies. Sure, this is a rare case... But there are those out there I would assume... If a method of common sense were put into place, this lady would never be suspected of any wrongdoing, ever.. Nor would she ever do anything wrong.... However,.. I am 1000% against a background check looking for violent felonies (assaults with weapons, etc...) and sex offenders!!!

If this person has a

If this person has a Master's Degree and has a job worthy of that degree, then she's already had a background check at her employment


I think they should do background checks on volunteers, but they won't. In Pender County, they aren't hiring substitute teachers because it costs money to do the background checks. If it costs to do the background checks, you can count out doing them on volunteers.

They definitely need to

They definitely need to perform background checks on ALL people involved with our children. That includes substitute teachers, PTA, everybody! They should also look into DRUG TESTING for every school employee, substitute teachers, bus drivers, etc. The school system's in our nation have been too lax on this. There are plenty of headlines about those that are caught, but I believe that there are plenty of teachers and other school personnel that are unfit to be in a school environment. I think that the teachers in this nation would rise to the occasion if there was a strong message out there of NO TOLERANCE in the workplace. Right now, the current administrators just look the other way to fill the vacancy. Sad! Very, very sad!!! They need to be interested in raising their standards and keeping our children safe instead.


If they come in contact with the kids yes, I think somebody needs to look at how people enter the schools. my child goes to a school in Hampstead, he is in middle school. My daughter that is 18 went to pick him up. Went into the school's office and wanted to check him out. The lady behind the counter told her to sign the book on the counter and go find him. Either in the lunch room or outside. My problem with this is why do that let people that come in the office just go down the halls. True my kid is old enough to say I am not going with her. but, what if she had a weapon and open fire. this is crazy I have written for years on this subject. It amaze me how you can get on school grounds. Just drive right up there. I think there should be a gate and someone have to buzz in or a guard at the gate. So, people that aren't suppose to get on the grounds can't get in the schools.



You'd be surprised

A background check on one of our baseball coaches came back as a sex offender. He knew that he was going to have a background check but still tried to coach. I say everyone who works with children should be checked out! Volunteer or not.

How many visiting parents

How many visiting parents have you ever heard of molesting another student? Visiting parents are taxpayers and should not be subjected to such. Seems like the teachers are most of the problem, and they have been checked.

It's not about what you hear

It's not about what you hear about, it is about what can actually happen. You or I don't know what has happened. So much does happen that never gets told. So yes they all need to be checked out. No they don't have to hold something over someones head forever. Just use common sense. You said the teachers are most of the problem and that they have been checked.... Why haven't they all been drug tested? That's where they are failing our children.

Background Checks

Yes, they do background checks in Pender County on parent/volunteers. But here's one for you: New Hanover County not only doesn't do background checks, they do not perform drug screens either! Crazy, huh?

That speaks volumes.......I

That speaks volumes.......I guess you don't have to wonder why....

Background Check