当代表约瑟夫麦克纳马拉宣布立法要求对学校导师计划进行背景调查时，他认为这将加强学生导师计划并确保学生安全。相反，当学校决定放弃高级项目的导师部分以避免背景调查的成本和麻烦时，他感到震惊。高级项目是一项由来已久的传统，在许多州是毕业要求，在此期间，它一直要求学生在他们的项目所关注的行业中寻找导师。这使他们能够获得宝贵的洞察力和指导，使项目成为更加真实的体验。但在 10 月 1日，750 名华威学生被指示停止与导师的所有“面对面”接触。
过去，导师由学生及其家长审查，但新法律要求他们接受州和国家背景调查。尽管学校确实希望确保他们的学生安全，并且他们希望保留该项目的导师部分，但这太昂贵了。中学教育主任丹尼斯·马伦 (Dennis Mullen) 说，许多背景调查将花费他们 26,000 美元，而这并没有列入预算。由于学校预算已经吃不消，这笔额外费用根本没有空间。
他们的主管也同意，这种突然的变化会“降低项目的质量”，老年人感到沮丧，因为他们中的 220 人现在必须修改他们的项目。Arlene McNulty 是推动立法的团体的一员，她说她曾希望导师自己愿意为背景调查付费最终，学校的费用将得到补贴。但截至目前，学校已经很难找到志愿者，而增加的成本并不能完全帮助这个过程。她还说，最初，该法律的目的不是影响高级项目导师，而是影响与学生建立长期关系的志愿者。显然，他们希望这些人成为正直的公民，为他们的学员树立一个好榜样，而不是将他们置于任何危险的境地。然而，短期导师也无意中受到影响。
通过背景调查之后，学校可以放心，他们可以获得最好和最彻底的背景调查筛选技术。通过访问全国无数的犯罪数据库，他们有许多可用的选择，其中一些可以立即获得结果。他们的 US OneSEARCH 为他们提供来自县、惩教部 (DOC)、法院管理 (AOC) 和州性犯罪者登记处的 4.3 亿多犯罪记录的即时信息，覆盖 49 个州以及华盛顿特区、波多黎各和关岛。还包括国家和国际恐怖主义来源、超过 1100 万张照片，以及他们以前完成的报告的专有数据库。他们还可以尝试正在进行的犯罪监测工具，它允许他们根据项目中任何导师的姓名和出生日期自动运行持续的背景调查。
When Representative Joseph McNamara announced legislation to require background checks for school mentor programs, he thought it would strengthen student mentor programs as well as keep students safe. He was shocked when instead, schools decided to drop the mentor portion of the senior project to avoid the cost and hassle of background checks. The Senior Project is a longtime tradition and in many states, a graduation requirement, and during this time, it has always required the student to find a mentor in the industry their project was focused. This allowed them to gain valuable insight and guidance, making the project a much more realistic experience. On October 1st though, 750 Warwick students were instructed to halt all “face-to-face” contact with mentors.
In the past, mentors were vetted by students and their parents, but the new law would require them to undergo both state and national background checks. Although schools do want to make sure their students are safe and they would love to keep the mentor portion of the project, it would simply be too expensive. Dennis Mullen, Director of Secondary Education, said that many background checks would cost them $26,000, which was not budgeted. With school budgets already scraping by, there is simply no room for this added expense.
Their superintendent also agreed that this sudden change would “diminish the quality of the program” and seniors are frustrated as 220 of them will now have to revise their projects. Arlene McNulty, part of the group who pushed for the legislation, says that she had hoped the mentors themselves would be willing to pay for the background checks and eventually, the cost for schools would be subsidized. As of now though, schools already have a difficult time finding volunteers, and this added cost doesn’t exactly help the process. She also said, originally, the intent of the law was not to influence senior project mentors, but volunteers who created long-term relationships with students. Obviously, they wanted these people to be upstanding citizens who would set a good example for their mentees and not put them in any risky situations. However, short-term mentors were also unintentionally affected.
Some have suggested that the schools continue with the program and mentors, because as of now, there are no consequences, including no fines, if a school were to break the law. However, those in charge feel that breaking the law would still make them liable for any crimes that might occur, and they couldn’t risk going down that road. McNamara says the problem lies in having attorneys running school departments, because “sometimes, they fail to look at the larger picture.”
By using an affordable company like backgroundchecks.com, schools can be assured they are getting the best and most thorough background check screening techniques available. With access to countless criminal databases nationwide they have many options available, several with instant results. Their US OneSEARCH gives them instant information from more than 430 million criminal records from counties, Department of Corrections (DOC), Administration of Courts (AOC) and State Sex Offender Registries covering 49 states plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and Guam. Also included are national and international terrorism sources, more than 11 million photos, and their proprietary database of previously completed reports. They can also try their Ongoing Criminal Monitoring tool, which allows them to automatically run a continuous background check against a name and date of birth of any mentor in their program.