Posts in School Safety
School Volunteer Fingerprinting - Why its a good idea.

When districts review school safety measures and Board Policies with legal counsel they do so with a desire to protect students. With the prevalence of crimes against children in society, districts who don’t require California Department of Justice (DOJ) criminal background checks of potential school volunteers who may be in contact with students outside the direct supervision of teachers or site administrators are opening up those districts to possible liability.

We recommend that all school districts have a strict policy in place requiring fingerprinting even if there is full time supervision and are in contact with children. Below are some examples for when mandatory fingerprinting should be required.

  • Coaching or assisting with special events, including dances, sports competitions, drama and musical productions

  • Driving and/or chaperoning field trips, including after-school sports.

  • Any volunteer assignment involving contact with students at school or on field trips where there is a possibility a volunteer could be outside the presence of a certificated staff member (teacher or administrator) even briefly

The above is not the complete list but you get the idea.

The most common question we get is who pays for fingerprinting?

The average cost for fingerprint processing is $55 for one volunteer, or approximately $11,000 for a school that has 200 volunteers. (If the districts require FBI processing it will be more) As you know districts do not have adequate funding resources to pay this large sum. In many cases the schools ask each volunteer to cover the cost or hold fundraising events through PTA or other school organizations.

Now here is the good news. Once the volunteer is fingerprinted, they only need to complete this process once for the school district.

If you’d like more information about school district fingerprinting programs please contact us

School Safety - Contractor Fingerprinting

Contractor Fingerprinting is one of many methods to safeguarding our children at school. Most school contractors must submit their employees' fingerprints to the DOJ as set forth in the Education Code. Sections 33192 and 33193 of the Education Code establish the fingerprinting and criminal background clearance guidelines for private schools while sections 45125.1 and 45125.2 govern those for public schools. Schools and Contractors cannot permit any employee to come into contact with pupils until the DOJ has cleared them. There are some exceptions to this rule, but parents should always confirm with schools if the after-school program or other contractors have submitted to the fingerprinting process.

Regardless of any exemptions, in today’s environment, school districts and contractors would be wise to require mandatory fingerprinting for any contractor (supervised or unsupervised) and provide an identification badge that is visible once that clearance is obtained.

We have helped hundreds of contractors apply for authorization with the DOJ for background checks. If your business is quoting a contract or RFP, you should start the process immediately to avoid any delays in beginning the contract.