2 N.C. School Districts Do Not Fingerprint During Background Checks

Union County Public Schools and Cabarrus County Schools said there is no mandatory policy on fingerprinting their employees.

2 N.C. School Districts Do Not Fingerprint During Background Checks

The state of North Carolina does not have a policy on schools fingerprinting employees.

Two school districts in North Carolina — Union County Public Schools (UCPS) and Carrabus County Schools — do not fingerprint their employees while conducting background checks.

Both districts say there is no policy stating it is mandatory to fingerprint their employees, reports WBTV.

Currently, there is no policy in North Carolina to instruct school districts to fingerprint. The North Carolina Department of Instruction leaves it up to each district to decide.

Upon hearing this, parents in the districts have shared their concerns about the potential that there may be staff unfit to be in schools.

“Having a kindergartner coming in is worrisome,” said one future UCPS parent. “You already have nerves going and knowing my son is going to be there in their care for eight hours – I want to know he is good care. I think just identifying who we are trusting our kids with is something that should be done.”

Security expert Karl De La Guerra said fingerprinting every employee is important for school safety.

“The benefit of it is the fact you are able to get a more comprehensive background on an individual by getting those fingerprints done and getting those in place,” he said.

UCPS Assistant Superintendent for Communications and Community Relations Tahira Stalberte said the district conducts thorough background checks through the Background Investigations Bureau.

“I was aware that some schools didn’t around the United States,” De La Guerra said. “It surprises me that they don’t. What is more precious to protect than our children? Wouldn’t you want to know the full background of those individuals that are working closely hand in hand with our children?”

A third district, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) stopped fingerprinting new employees for close to a year. It said it stopped in July 2018 while changing fingerprinting companies.

During that period, 3,533 employees were hired. CMS resumed the process and sent a letter to all new employees who didn’t get fingerprinted to do so by July 19.

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Katie Malafronte is Campus Safety's Web Editor. She graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2017 with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication Studies and a minor in Writing & Rhetoric. Katie has been CS's Web Editor since 2018.

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