看到教育工作者因猥亵学生或与学生发生性关系而被捕的头条新闻已经变得非常普遍。最近在圣何塞地区的一所小学 Spark Charter School 就是这样，午餐时间的一名班长和老师的助理因对一名年轻学生进行性侵犯而被捕。显然，学校在 8 月 18 日新学年开学前未能对教师或其他员工进行背景调查。但是，学校正在采取适当的损害控制措施，暂时关闭，直到可以对每个员工进行检查。
9 月 15 日星期二，嫌疑人因在学校猥亵一名 8 岁女孩而被捕。女孩迅速将此事通知了其他成年人，嫌疑人于当天晚些时候在校园被捕。警方在嫌疑人的设备上发现了儿童色情内容，现在指控他犯有一系列不同的罪行。
据圣何塞水星新闻报道，指控包括“以武力、暴力、胁迫或恐惧对儿童进行猥亵接触”；“对 10 岁以下儿童的性侵”；“诱使未成年人参与儿童色情”；和拥有儿童色情制品。并非所有这些指控都与 Spark Charter School 的事件有关，其中大部分与警方在嫌疑人的设备上发现的 600 多件儿童色情内容有关。
Spark Charter School 是该地区的一所新学校，8 月份首次迎来小学生。圣克拉拉县教育委员会批准了允许 Spark 作为特许学校运营的章程。该授权包括有关合规和监管的几个条件，其中之一是 Spark Charter School 将对所有员工进行指纹背景调查。学校没有遵循该特定指导方针，因此违反了教育委员会的章程授权。这一违规行为可能会危及 Spark 特许学校的未来。
与此同时，Spark Charter School 的官员将矛头指向其他地方，解释他们为什么没有进行必要的背景调查。据圣何塞水星新闻报道，他们与各学校董事会官员和学区管理人员沟通以编制他们的报告，学校需要加州司法部提供的身份证号码才能进行指纹背景调查。管理人员说，学校在 7 月份申请了 ID 号，但没有收到回复。Spark 的官员没有再次伸出援手或推迟学年的开始，而是决定在没有背景调查的情况下开设学校。
教育办公室告诉 Spark Charter School，他们将不得不关闭，直到它可以对所有员工进行背景调查。学校终于在 9 月 18 日星期五获得了司法部的身份证并对其每位员工进行了指纹识别。在可以处理这些检查之前，Spark 将保持关闭状态。
On Tuesday, September 15th, the suspect was arrested for molesting an eight-year-old girl at the school. The girl quickly alerted other adults of the incident, and the suspect was arrested on campus later in the day. Police found child pornography on the suspect's devices and are now charging him with a range of different crimes.
According to a report by the San Jose Mercury News, charges include "lewd contact on a child by force, violence, duress, or fear"; "sexual penetration with a child under the age of 10"; "inducing a minor's involvement in child pornography"; and possession of child pornography. Not all of these charges are linked to the incident at Spark Charter School, and most of them have to do with the 600+ piece of child pornography that police found on the suspect's devices.
Spark Charter School is a new school in the area, having welcomed elementary students for the first time in August. The Santa Clara County Board of Education approved the charter that would allow Spark to operate as a charter school. That authorization included several conditions concerning compliance and regulation, one of which was that Spark Charter School would run fingerprint background checks on all employees. The school did not follow that particular guideline and is therefore in breach of the Board of Education's charter authorization. That breach could potentially put Spark Charter School's future in jeopardy.
Officials at Spark Charter School, meanwhile, are pointing the finger elsewhere to explain why they didn't run the required background checks. According to the San Jose Mercury News, who communicated with various school board officials and district administrators to compile their report, schools need an ID number from the California Department of Justice to run fingerprint background checks. Administrators say that the school applied for an ID number in July but never heard back. Rather than reach out again or delay the start of the school year, Spark's officials decided to open the school without background checks.
Through that lens, it really does seem like this incident was a case of negligence on the part of the school. At very least, parents should have been notified that teachers and other employees had not had background checks. It's unclear, at this point, whether or not the suspect has a criminal history or is a registered sex offender. Still, an elementary school opening its doors without first vetting its employees is a massive oversight considering the vulnerability of young students.
The Office of Education told Spark Charter School that they would have to shut down until it could run background checks on all employees. The school finally got a Department of Justice ID and fingerprinted each of its employees on Friday, September 18th. Spark will remain closed until those checks can be processed.