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罗德岛州代表呼吁对通用巴士司机进行背景调查

你会让你的孩子乘坐由已定罪的罪犯驾驶或监视的公共汽车吗?这是罗德岛州代表本月提出的普遍问题,据美联社报道,他呼吁对全国范围内的政府强制要求对校车司机和监视器进行背景调查。

这位立法者是一位名叫安东尼·贾鲁索的共和党政治家,在他的家乡东格林威治市的一名公共汽车监察员因涉嫌儿童色情而被捕后,他采取强硬立场支持与公共汽车相关的背景调查。监控员在被捕后被解雇,但他的雇主似乎直到那时才知道他过去的犯罪活动。

对 Giarrusso 来说,这起案件的打击尤其离家很近:罗德岛政治家的儿子经常乘坐被逮捕的校车监督所分配的校车。虽然没有任何故事表明监控员曾对他公共汽车上的任何孩子进行过性挑逗,但 Giarrusso 清楚地认为此案是一种“太近而无法舒适”的情况,并通过引入立法来回应,要求在全国范围内进行对所有总线驱动程序和监视器进行背景检查。

尽管东格林威治校车公司确实承认其旧的筛选方法只需要州背景调查(监督员确实通过了),但被捕的公交车监督员是否真的有任何刑事定罪记录尚未透露。被捕后,这家巴士公司发誓要重新评估其背景调查政策,并开始要求进行全国范围的调查——无论 Giarrusso 的立法是否通过并使其成为法律的必要性。

然而,即使贾鲁索的法律没有通过,罗德岛的案件也证明了,为了发现公共汽车司机和公共汽车监控员的犯罪记录,或者任何其他与儿童和青少年有密切接触的学区雇员日常工作生活——不可能受到伤害。Giarrusso 可能是一位有权改变事情的立法者,但在更根本的层面上,他只是东格林威治的众多父母中的一员,他们对潜在的性犯罪者被捕感到震惊、恐惧和宽慰。

Would you let your child ride on a bus driven or monitored by a convicted criminal? That is the general question being posed this month by a Rhode Island State Representative, who according to the Associated Press, is calling for nationwide focused government mandated background checks for school bus drivers and monitors.

The lawmaker, a Republican politician named Anthony Giarrusso, took his hard stance in favor of bus-related background checks after a bus monitor from his home city of East Greenwich was arrested on charges of child pornography. The monitor was fired after his arrest, but it seems his employers had no knowledge of his past criminal activity up until that point.

For Giarrusso, the case hits particularly close to home: the Rhode Island politician’s son frequently rode the school bus to which the arrested bus monitor was assigned. While no stories have surfaced to suggest that the monitor ever made a sexual advance on any of the children on his bus, Giarrusso clearly considers the case as a “too close for comfort” kind of situation, and responded by introducing legislation that would require nationwide background checks for all bus drivers and monitors.

Whether or not the arrested bus monitor actually had any criminal convictions on his record has not been revealed, though the East Greenwich school bus company did admit that its old screening methods only required a state background check (which the monitor did pass). In the wake of the arrest, the bus company has vowed to reevaluate its background check policies and to begin requiring nationwide checks as well—whether or not Giarrusso’s legislation passes and makes doing so a necessity of law.

Even if Giarusso’s law does not pass, however, the Rhode Island case proves that casting a wider search net to uncover criminal records for bus drivers and bus monitors—or any other school district employees who have close contact with children and teenagers in their day to day work lives—could not possibly hurt. Giarrusso may be a lawmaker with the power to change things, but on a more fundamental level, he is just one of many East Greenwich parents who are alarmed, frightened, and relieved over a potential sex offender’s arrest.

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