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印第安纳州新教师背景调查法案引发争议

印第安纳州众议院第 1068 号法案是一项拟议的教师背景调查立法,如果获得通过,将改变招聘前后教育工作者的筛选方式。现有的州法律仅要求进行州刑事检查,并且仅作为就业前措施。这意味着在其他州有严重刑事犯罪的人可以被聘为教师。这也意味着现有的教师可以在被聘用后犯下一系列罪行,继续在学校工作而不会受到任何后果。

众议院法案将纠正其中一个问题,但会留下另一个悬而未决的问题。立法建议教师背景调查每五年更新一次。这是一个聪明的主意,有助于让教师对雇主负责,并诚实对待聘用日期后可能发生的任何犯罪活动。不太明智的是,该法案显然没有包括更新印第安纳州教师背景调查范围的条款。很简单,国家检查不足以确保教师的可信度或保证孩子的安全。所有州都应制定法律,要求在全国范围内对任何花大量时间陪伴儿童的教育工作者进行刑事检查。否则,性犯罪者、虐待儿童者或其他危险人物很容易进入系统,

相反,众议院第 1068 号法案包括一项对印第安纳州教师实施信用记录检查的提案。这部分立法引起了很多关注,并引起了大量的争论和批评。不难看出为什么会这样:通常,信用历史检查仅针对涉及处理金钱或商业财务的工作。由于教师通常不处理金钱,除了可能为学生支付一些实地考察费用外,奇怪的是甚至会提出这样的规定。简而言之,金融历史并不是了解教师的相关信息。它与一个人的健康状况或资格与孩子一起工作或接受教育无关。

鉴于围绕众议院 1068 号法案的所有有争议的辩论,印第安纳州的立法极不可能通过,至少不会以目前的形式通过。不过,希望众议院会选择修改该法案,而不是完全废除它。毕竟,重复背景调查是学校实施的一项重要政策,印第安纳州的学校确实需要对其背景调查政策进行一些更新。也许有关信用历史检查的规定可以被要求进行全国检查的计划所取代。

House Bill would correct one of those issues, but would leave the other unresolved. The legislation proposes that teacher background checks be updated every five years. It's a smart idea that would help to keep teachers accountable to their employers and honest about any criminal activity that might take place after their hire date. Less smart is the fact that the bill evidently includes no provisions that would update the reach of Indiana teacher background checks. Quite simply, state checks are not enough to ensure the trustworthiness of a teacher or guarantee the safety of a child. All states should have laws in place that require nationwide criminal checks for any educators who spend substantial time with children. Otherwise, sex offenders, child abusers, or other dangerous individuals could easily slip into the system, simply because their crimes were committed in another state.

Instead, House Bill 1068 includes a proposal to implement credit history checks for Indiana teachers. This section of the legislation has caught a lot of attention and generated substantial debate and criticism. It's not difficult to see why that is: generally, credit history checks are only run for jobs that would involve the handling of money or business finances. Since teachers don't generally handle money, aside from maybe a few field trip payments for students, it's curious that such a provision would even be proposed. To put it simply, financial history is just not a relevant piece of information to know about a teacher. It has no bearing on a person's fitness or qualification to work with kids or educate.

Given all of the contentious debate around House Bill 1068, it's highly unlikely that the Indiana legislation will pass at least not in its current form. Hopefully, though, the House will opt to revise the bill instead of completely scrapping it. After all, repeat background checks are an important policy to have in place in schools, and Indiana schools do need a bit of an update to their background check policies. Perhaps the provision about credit history checks could be replaced with a plan to require nationwide checks.


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