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Edmond schools revise background check policy

Edmond school board members reword policy so as to not confuse it with the state of Oklahoma's background check.
BY STEVE GUST Modified: December 3, 2013 at 7:38 pm •  Published: December 3, 2013

The ongoing mission of helping to keep children safe by doing school employee criminal background checks was fine-tuned this week by members of the Edmond School Board.

At issue was the district policy on an annual questionnaire given to each of the estimated 2,700 school support staff, teachers and administrators. Employees are asked if they've been arrested since the previous year's questionnaire. To help verify this, district personnel director Randy Decker said about 10 percent of the employees are subject to a random Accufax test.

The criminal record check is done by the district alone and is not as expensive as the state-required fingerprint check done through the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. The five-member board voted Monday to approve a change in the policy wording so its background check would not be confused with the state check.

Decker said the Accufax check costs the district about $18 a test vs. $59 for the state. With 10 percent of the district tested, it costs about $4,860.

Decker said recent checks had not revealed any criminal charges.

He was asked by board member Kathleen Duncan what would happen if it turned out a bus driver had a drunken-driving arrest.

“That person would obviously come to me and then we'd take action,” he said. “We tell all employees two things, not to get arrested in the first place and if they are arrested to immediately tell the superintendent.”

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