|School Board of Alachua County|
|Bylaws & Policies|
3121.01 - EMPLOYMENT HISTORY AND CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS
Pursuant to Florida law, candidates for employment shall be subject to employment history and criminal background checks as described in this policy.
Employment History Check
Before recommending employment of instructional staff in any position that requires direct contact with students, the Superintendent shall conduct employment history checks of each candidate's previous employer(s), screen the candidate through use of the educator screening tools described in F.S. 1001.10(5), and document the findings. If unable to contact a previous employer, the Superintendent shall document efforts to contact the employer (F.S. 1012.27(6)). See Policy 3120, Employment of Instructional Staff.
Criminal Background Check
Prior to recommendation for initial employment, or re-employment if there has been a break in service, all candidates for all positions shall be subject to a Level 2 criminal background check to determine suitability for employment. The application for employment shall inform applicants they are subject to criminal background checks as a condition precedent to employment and thereafter in accordance with applicable law. The application shall advise applicants that failure to be truthful on the application about prior criminal history will be grounds for ineligibility or dismissal from employment.
When a person is selected for a position in the District, that applicant shall, as a condition of employment, file a complete set of fingerprints taken by a designated employee of the Board or approved contractor who is trained to take fingerprints. The cost of the background screening related to initial employment or re-employment after a break in service will be borne by the candidate for employment.
Fingerprints of candidates for employment or re-employment if there has been a break in service shall be submitted to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) for Statewide criminal and juvenile records checks and to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for Federal criminal records checks.
Temporary Status Pending Background Checks
No employee shall commence work until all background check reports are reviewed and the Superintendent has determined, based upon information received from FDLE, FBI, and previous employers that the employee meets the criteria set forth in this policy. Under extenuating circumstances as documented by the Superintendent, applicants may be nominated and temporarily assigned following a background check by District staff using existing criminal justice information available to the Superintendent. While an employee is on temporary status pending fingerprint processing, the Board may dismiss the employee without cause, or the employee may resign without breach of contract.
Criteria for Review - Criminal Background Check
The Superintendent shall review and make a determination regarding all applicants for whom a background check identifies a criminal conviction. The information provided in the application will be reviewed along with the criminal history report.
For purposes of this policy, "convicted" means that there has been a determination of guilt as a result of a trial or the entry of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, regardless of whether adjudication is withheld. (F.S. 943.0435)
A criminal record is available to the District, notwithstanding the entry of an order sealing or expunging the record.
Applicants who have outstanding warrants, pending criminal cases or uncompleted pre-trial intervention or probation shall not be considered until resolution of all pending charges and completion of court-ordered sanctions.
|A.||Category One - Felony sexual-related crimes, lewd and lascivious crimes, felony child abuse crimes, other crimes involving moral turpitude, and crimes listed in F.S. 1012.315.|
|The District will not hire applicants who have been convicted of Category One offenses.|
|B.||Category Two - Felony crimes of violence and felony sale or distribution of controlled substances.|
|The District will not hire the applicant if the conviction for a Category Two offense was within the last fifteen (15) years.|
|The District will consider the applicant and carefully review the conviction for a Category Two offense if it was beyond fifteen (15) years.|
|C.||Category Three - Other felony crimes not included in category one or two above; misdemeanor crimes of a sexual nature (not involving children); and misdemeanor crimes related to children.|
|The District will not hire the applicant if the conviction for a Category Three offense was within the last five (5) years. The District will consider the applicant and carefully review the conviction for a Category Three offense if it was beyond five (5) years.|
|D.||Category Four - Misdemeanor drugs, misdemeanor crimes of violence, and misdemeanor crimes involving weapons.|
|The District will not hire the applicant if the conviction was within the last three (3) years. The District will consider the applicant and carefully review if the conviction was committed beyond three (3) years.|
|E.||Category Five - Other misdemeanors (not covered in categories three or four above).|
|The District will consider the convictions in Category Five on a case-by-case review.|
In evaluating the background screening results, the Superintendent may consider various factors, including but not limited to:
|A.||severity of the offense(s);|
|C.||disclosure of offense(s);|
|D.||whether the offense was an isolated or repeated violation;|
|E.||amount of time that has passed since the most recent conviction;|
|F.||circumstances under which the offense(s) occurred;|
|G.||age of the applicant when the crime was committed;|
|H.||evidence of rehabilitation;|
|I.||compliance with conditions of probation/parole.|
A candidate whose employment application has been denied due to conviction of a disqualifying criminal offense may appeal to the Criminal History Review Committee appointed by the Superintendent. The appeal must be in writing and may not include any documents or material not previously considered by the Superintendent.
Applicants appealing to the Committee shall have the burden of setting forth sufficient evidence of rehabilitation. The committee shall consider the circumstances surrounding the criminal incident and any other evidence indicating that the applicant would make a positive contribution to the District if the employment is allowed.
In the case of denial due to an adjudication of guilt for an offense listed in Category One, the only basis for appeal to the Committee shall be mistaken identity.
The decision of the Committee is final.
Approval of the application by the Committee only allows for consideration of the applicant for a position, with no assurance of a nomination by the Superintendent.
|A.||Current employee shall be subject to criminal background screening every five (5) years as required by applicable law. The cost of this subsequent background screening will be borne by the Board.|
|1.||If it is discovered during the period of employment that a regular employee has a prior criminal record and that the employee did not provide this information at the time of hire, if asked, the employee may be subject to disciplinary action, including dismissal for falsified application, or otherwise having misled the District.|
|2.||If a current Board employee is convicted of a crime that would otherwise disqualify him/her from initial employment, s/he may be recommended for discipline, up to and including termination.|
|B.||Whenever an investigation of a complaint against an employee is required, a criminal background check may not be conducted as part of the investigation, unless it would be relevant to the issues under investigation.|
|C.||All instructional staff members employed by the Board must self-report certain arrests and convictions (see Policy 3139.02, Violation of Local, State, and/or Federal Laws).|
The information contained in reports received from the FDLE and the FBI is confidential, and appropriate security of the records will be maintained. Board personnel will only share the background screening results and details of the record with the individual who has been screened.
Although permissible by State law, the District will not share information received as the result of the criminal background check with other school districts.
Furthermore, if information received as a result of the criminal history records check indicates that a certificated instructional staff member has been convicted of certain crimes enumerated by law, the Superintendent must report this information to the Florida Department of Education in accordance with Policy 8141, Mandatory Reporting of Misconduct.
F.S. 943.0585(4)(a), 943.059(4)(a), 1012.315, 1012.32, 1012.56
s. 26, ch. 2008-108, L.O.F.
© Neola 2011