Policy Code: GCDA
Adoption Date: Tuesday, December 15th, 2009
Review Date: Tuesday, March 27th, 2018
CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS AND EMPLOYEE REPORTING OF ARRESTS
The purpose of this policy is to protect the safety, health, and security, of Iron County School District students, employees, and property. Further, this policy is intended to ensure that all students of Iron County School District are instructed and served by public school teachers and employees who have not violated laws that would endanger students in any way.
Individuals Subject to Background Checks
Potential employees must submit to a criminal background check as a condition for employment or appointment.
Volunteers with significant unsupervised access to a student in connection with the volunteer's assignment must submit to a criminal background check as a condition of service. Until the background check is complete, the volunteer must remain under the supervised observation of a District employee.
A representative (individual, employee, and/or agent) of a company or organization having established an arrangement or agreement with the District to provide services to the school (such as food service vendors with casual access to students), or services with direct student access must submit to a District conducted criminal background check. The organization or representative shall pay the cost of the background check. Information obtained from the background check may be used as a basis to refuse access of the representative to the school, District, or student, at the sole discretion of the District. Failure to comply with this provision shall be basis for termination of the arrangement or agreement with the company or organization.
A background check shall be required for the renewal of any Utah educator license in accordance with Utah Administrative Code R277-501.
Non-licensed employees shall submit to a criminal background check at least every five years.
Where reasonable cause exists the District may require an existing employee or volunteer to submit to a criminal background check.
Conducting the Background Check
Applicants and volunteers shall complete an Iron County School District personnel record as a condition of employment. The personnel record requires self-disclosure of criminal misconduct or violations of the law. The information obtained from the background check and the personnel record will be compared for accuracy. Any misstatement, omission, or misinformation on the personnel record is grounds to not hire or for dismissal.
Non-licensed Employees Schedule to Submit to Criminal Background Checks
The District will assign non-licensed employees to a five-year re-certification schedule based on the last digit of their social security number. Employees with social security numbers ending in 0 and 1, will recertify in year one, employees with social security numbers ending in 2 and 3, will recertify in year two, etc. This schedule will allow for a complete cycle of background checks every five years.
Current employees who decline to submit to the background check will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from employment.
Payment for Background Check
Applicants for employment, including substitutes, shall be required to pay the designated cost of background checks subject to the provisions of UCA § 53A-3-410(6)(b)
The District shall pay the cost of the background check for any non licensed employee.
The school shall pay the cost of background checks from designated school funds for individuals serving as volunteers.
Reports of Arrest
Licensed Educators Required Reports of Arrest
A licensed educator who is arrested, cited, or charged with the following alleged offenses shall report the incident as soon as possible or within 48 hours to the District Elementary or Secondary Director:any matters involving an alleged felony;
- any matters involving an alleged felony;
- any matters involving minors;
- any matters involving alleged sex offenses;
- any matters involving alleged drug-related offenses;
- any matters involving alleged alcohol-related offenses; and
- any matters involving alleged offenses against the person under Title 76, Chapter 5, Offenses Against the person.
The licensed educator shall report, to the District Elementary or Secondary Director, any convictions, including convictions identified above, any pleas in abeyance, and any diversion agreements within 48 hours or as soon as possible upon receipt of notice of conviction, plea in abeyance, or diversion agreement.
A principal or supervisor shall report offense information received from the licensed educator as soon as reasonably possible to the District Elementary or Secondary Director.
The District Elementary or Secondary Director or designee shall electronically report arrest or offense information received from licensed educators to the Utah State Office of Education (USOE) within 48 hours through the USOE website.
The licensed educator shall report for work following the arrest and notice to the principal/director unless directed not to report for work by administration.
Non-licensed Public Employees or Volunteers Personal Reporting of Arrest
Non-licensed public education employees or volunteers must notify the District Business Administrator as soon as possible but no later than five (5) business days after being cited, charged with, arrested, convicted, or agreeing to a plea in abeyance or diversion agreement, for any of the following crimes, regardless of the imposition of sentence:
- any matters involving arrests for an alleged felony;
- any arrests for matters involving minors;
- any matters involving arrests for alleged sex offenses;
- any matters involving arrests for alleged drug-related offenses;
- any matters involving arrests for alleged alcohol-related offenses; and;
- any matters involving arrests for alleged offenses against the person under Title 76, Chapter 5, Offenses Against the Person.
Principals/supervisors must notify the District Business Administrator immediately upon an employee informing them of any of the matters listed above.
Review and Investigation
A criminal conviction does not necessarily preclude employment with the District. The District has the sole and absolute discretion to determine whether the outcome of a criminal background check will result in administrative action to include the decision to terminate employment or the decision to not hire. Likewise, the dismissal of a criminal offense or arrest does not necessarily preclude the District from taking administrative action.
The District will immediately suspend an employee from student supervision responsibilities pending the outcome of any investigation upon receipt of information concerning alleged offenses which may endanger students or interfere with the orderly operation of the school.
Administration may consider both criminal and/or administrative findings. The safety and security of district students will be the foremost consideration. District Administrative personnel consider each circumstance on a case-by-case basis and use the following factors to determine an applicant or current employee’s suitability to work in the District.
- Type of conviction;
- Relevance of any conviction to the individual’s position;
- A history of multiple convictions that suggests a pattern of criminal behavior or bad judgment;
- Amount of time that has passed since a conviction and/or the completion of a sentence;
- Frequency and severity of the crime(s);
- Age of the individual at the time the crime was committed;
- Evidence of rehabilitation.
Administrative Action and Due Process
Applicants are subject to non-selection based on the results of a background check, for refusal to submit to a background check, and/or for the failure to disclose information relevant to the background check.
Employees are subject to discipline, up to and including termination, based on conduct identified from the results of their background checks, for refusal to submit to a background check, and/or for failure to report a citing, arrest, charge, or conviction as outlined in this policy.
The District may take employment or disciplinary action (up to and including dismissal), refuse to consider an applicant for employment, or refuse to hire a selected applicant for any offense relevant to the subject’s assignment. Offenses relevant to all District assignments include but are not limited to the following:
any matters involving charges of felony or relevant misdemeanor offenses; any offense against or pertaining to a minor; any matters involving sex offenses; any matters involving drug-related offenses; any matters involving alcohol-related offenses; any matters for which the subject is currently under court ordered probation; any matters involving offenses against a person under UCA Title 76, Chapter 5, Offenses Against the Person. Any statement of an employee or applicant on the personnel record that is later deemed to be a misstatement, omission, or misinformation when verified with the results of a background check, is grounds to not hire or for dismissal.
If a person is denied employment or is dismissed from employment because of information obtained through a criminal background check, the person will receive written notice of the reasons for denial or dismissal and have an opportunity to respond within 5 working days.
Information obtained from BCI in a background check is confidential within the guidelines of the Government Records and Access and Management Act (GRAMA).
Definitions and References
“Licensed Educator” has the meaning given that term in UAC R277-516.
“Crimes Against a Person” includes assault, kidnapping, murder, manslaughter, reckless endangerment, abuse of a child or vulnerable adult, stalking, hazing, making a terroristic threat, and any other offense identified in UCA Title 76, Chapter 5.
“Criminal History Report” A report generated by the Bureau of Criminal Identification after a search of State of Utah criminal history files and/or other state and federal databases designed by law or by the District.
“Driving Record Report” Traffic-related offenses contained in the Utah Division of Motor Vehicle databases.
“Background Check” Information on an applicant or employee that may include, but is not limited to, criminal history reports and driving records reports.
- Utah Code Annotated (UCA) § 53-10-108 – Limited Use of Records for Employment Purposes
- UCA § 53A-3-410 – Criminal Background Checks on School Personnel
- UCA § 53A-6-401 – Background Checks
- Utah Administrative Code (UAC) R277-501 – Educator Licensing Renewal and Timelines
- UAC R277-515 – Education Employee Required Reports of Arrests