All felony convictions requested in Manchester school background checks
Even with the maximum amount of information from the state police, the statute leaves districts without full knowledge of the potential criminal background of a school employee. Unlike many other states, the New Hampshire background check law bars police from informing districts of misdemeanors and other lesser infractions.
Livingston, the superintendent of the state's largest school district, said all reportable crimes are requested in the records check.
Several school employees have been arrested in recent years in Manchester. Last month, an art teacher was indicted for allegedly allowing her home to be used by her boyfriend to sell drugs. In 2012, a special education teacher was indicted on charges of abusing students on three occasions. In 2011, a paraprofessional at Hillside Middle School was charged with felonious sexual assault stemming from sexual encounters with a student.
The district does not have a policy on background checks for all school employees that is part of the policy book reviewed by the school board. It does, however, have a section dealing solely with volunteers. The section, approved by the school board last year, requires all those deemed "designated volunteers" — who "may serve on an on-going basis and have one-to-one contact with students" — to submit to a criminal background check and fingerprinting.
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