Knox School Board Agrees to Pay for Current Employees’ State-Mandated Background Checks

The Knox Community School Corporation has agreed to cover the cost of state-mandated background checks for current employees.

The arrangement was approved last week by the school board, at the request of Superintendent Dr. William Reichhart. “We will use Safe Hiring Solutions,” he explained. “It’s required by state statute that all existing employees have to have a background check done once every five years, and it would be great if the board pays that for our employees because it will save them $25 or more, up to $35. So it is a thing, I think, that will be appreciated by our existing staff, and this is for all school employees.”

The approval came on the same night that the school board took action to update the corporation’s background check policies to reflect the changes made at the state level. Various categories of school employees, volunteers, and outside contractors are now required to undergo a child protection index check, as well as an expanded criminal history check. The policy updates also specify what items would disqualify an applicant from employment.

The Knox School Board has also updated the policy dealing with the way school employees handle child abuse and neglect. All employees are now required to report all suspected abuse immediately. Any school employee whose job puts them in direct contact with children also has to take part in child abuse-related training.

Another policy update requires the school corporation to educate students at all grade levels about child abuse and sexual abuse. The policy updates approved by the school board last week were part of a list of changes recommended by policy consultant NEOLA.