SD2 committee looks at adjusting background check and fingerprinting policy

2013-10-11T16:11:00Z 2014-07-17T19:53:04Z SD2 committee looks at adjusting background check and fingerprinting policyBy ROB ROGERS The Billings Gazette

It started with the bus drivers. 

Shortly after Terry Bouck took over as School District 2's new superintendent last year, he learned there was no policy dictating that bus drivers have a background check and be fingerprinted.

"We just said that wasn't acceptable," Bouck said. 

SD2 contracts its busing through First Student, a national transportation company.

Bouck brought up the issue with First Student and the company volunteered to run background checks on its drivers for SD2, Bouck said.

During a meeting of the board's operations committee, Bouck recommended the board craft an official policy requiring all companies contracting with SD2 to run background checks and fingerprint employees who might have contact with students. 

Trustee Lindy Graves pointed to the case of Toby Eugene Griego, the suspect arrested in August for a string of home-invasion rapes and robberies that occurred earlier this year.

Griego, a registered sex offender, had worked as a deliveryman for Mattress Land USA from October to May. Police believe Griego visited at least one of the homes of the rape victims as a deliveryman. 

"You never know," Graves said. 

Allen Halter, board chairman, said the policy would need to be written in a way that gave the district the discretion it needed to require background checks on those who potentially could have contact with students.

But it's impractical to require background checks on every person who steps inside a school, he said.

Trustee Greta Besch Moen suggested the committee seek the advice of Jeff Greenfield, the district's lawyer, to find out how other school districts in the state have crafted policies requiring background checks. 

They want the language to be specific enough to distinguish between the person who comes in to repair a commissary fridge, never seeing a student, and the worker spending time in hallways and classrooms. 

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