Time to re-examine who's working in our schools?
Baltimore city school officials have grappled in recent months, with having to explain how employees who fill obscure roles in schools end up facing criminal charges, or how those who have past criminal, civil, or serious allegations aren't red-flagged.
It started in July, when City College "contractor" Ryan Coleman was charged with sexual assault of a student. Last week, Tyree Miles, a "temporary" employee was accused of attempting to sell a weapon to a school police officer on school grounds. And this week a "volunteer" at a school was charged with egregious allegations relating to sexually abusing a 14-year-old special ed student.
In each case, the school system had some explanation of why each accusee went undetected: each had passed a background check; the hirings were done at the school level, presumably by the principals, who have the autonomy of staffing their schools; in the most recent case, the boy's blind mother requested that her son have the accused mentor in the school.
All of the questions of hiring practices resurfaced last week as we were also reporting that a principal was removed from her school after an investigation into who she had on the school's payroll.
The school has yet to respond to questions of whether their hiring practices and policies need revisiting, and if hiring at the school-based level needs a bit more oversight.
I'd like to know you if our readers think this was just a bad stretch or a call to action for the school system to re-examine who they, directly or indirectly, are allowing to work with children in city schools?