How Are Substitutes Screened - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro, AR -- Brandi Hodges Reports

How Are Substitutes Screened

August 17, 2006 -- Posted at 6:21 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR -- We all remember the Christmas murder of JonBenet Ramsey.  Now we are learning that the man accused of killing her has worked as a substitute school teacher.

In light of this arrest we wondered what types of screening processes are used in Region 8 schools. 

"At this point and time the state department of education has not mandated background checks be done by either state police or FBI," said Piggott Superintendent Bruce Evans.

To substitute teach in the Piggott School District you're not required to pass a background check.

"They fill out an application and then, once the application is filled out, they'll meet with the building level principal," said Evans.

Evans said usually their substitutes are former teachers, children of teachers, or people who live in town.  He admits their system may be flawed.

"There is a risk involved in this process.  I'm sure the state board of education is in the process of reviewing its policies and practices," said Evans.  

"As opposed to past practice where you would take people you were familiar with or who just came in off the street, but by going with an agency, they do check backgrounds," said Westside Superintendent James Best.  

The agency Westside uses is Subteach.  Subteach works with seven different school districts in Region 8 to make sure your children are safe when they're in the classroom

"Subteach will go through the application process with them, check their background, provide their training, and then put them in a call pool for personnel who are available to be called for our school," said Best.  

The Westside School District has used Subteach for the past two years.

"From a security standpoint, and safeguarding our kids, it gives us the opportunity to check backgrounds where before that ability didn't exist," said Best.

We attempted to make contact with several other school districts to find out what their policies are.  Those with the Trumann School District tell K8 News that they check the fingerprints of all applicants to run a background check.

  

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