In The News
Should Parents Submit Background Checks Before Volunteering?
My son’s new school requires all volunteers, even parents who just read a story in class once a month, to submit to a background check. This costs money and can be very time consuming, however, after a recent news story was aired, I find this less of an annoyance, and more of a necessity. A man was arrested this past week in Arizona for suspected molestation of children.
I’ll be honest and admit that stories like this make me cringe, and want to keep my children locked safe within my home, although I know that isn’t the answer.
The scariest part of this is that the man was a volunteer at an upstanding church for over a year and this was not the first church he had volunteered at. Although this specific church had regulations to conduct checks on volunteers, it only covered those who worked with children younger than sixth grade. Unfortunately, that was not enough.
This is just more proof that as parents we must ask hard questions about the places and people our children will be around. Churches, schools, sporting events, libraries, daycares, clubs - the list goes on. If our children are involved in them, then we need to find out what people are also allowed to be there. For this specific church, they announced that they will be requiring background checks on all volunteers, even parents. I realize that background checks alone are not the only answer here, however, had this regulation been put in place previously, it may have prevented this atrocious act.
As parents we need to be involved as much as possible with those in charge and ask questions about where children will be, who they are with, and for how long. We also need to trust our gut instinct about places and situations, and when in doubt, just keep our children away. For me, that means that from now on, I will be asking organizations specific questions regarding their checks before my children are involved.
Do you agree with background checks for everyone that works with children, even fellow parents?
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