Monday, February 25, 2013
We were watching the Oscars last night, my husband and I hoping that the last joke Seth McFarlane said flew right over our dear daughter’s heads, when all of our phones started ringing at the same time.
This usually means only one thing: there will be no school the next day or the schools will be opening late due to inclement weather.
These messages are met with glee on the part of the kids and since I’m a work at home Mom, I am able to roll with it much easier than my working Mom friends.
What startled us was the reason behind this closing: a manhunt was happening right then for a man who worked at one of the counties schools and had access to said schools. According to the news, this man was involved in a domestic violence issue.
I applaud the district for putting safety first. In light of all that has happened in and around public schools of late, I say it was an excellent call, but it raised a deeper question for us as parents.
What type of background checks are being done for employees in supporting positions such as this man who was a maintenance worker? Is this another area our public schools need to improve upon?
I honestly do not know what criteria are in place. But I mean to find out. I am a bit embarrassed that I don’t know. I just assumed that these workers were asked to go through the same screening process as teachers, staff and even volunteers.
For example, I am a tier 3 volunteer in our school district which means I have been finger printed and had a background check completed; therefore I am able to go on field trips and volunteer for activities that put me in direct contact with children.
I hope in my search I do find out that all workers entering our schools have had to pass this same level of security, if not more.
We spoke with our girls at length about safety at schools and let them know we felt comfortable sending them to school because our district did go the extra mile to ensure our schools were as safe as possible.
Thankfully this dialog ran long ( much like the Oscars) and we had stopped watching the show to talk. This saved our kids from hearing any of the song Seth McFarlane entertained the audience with next. You know the one about female body parts? So not kid friendly.
By the end of the Oscars, when my kids had been fast asleep for some time, our local news reported that the manhunt had ended. The man safely in custody and that schools would remain closed.
Good. I am very thankful that this story has a happy ending.
So has your school ever been shut down for something like this? Do you know what your school districts security policies are?
Please share your thoughts on this.