Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Everyone Who Works in a Texas School to be Fingerprinted

Well the other shoe dropped.

It was just a matter of time before Austin came around to getting the rest of our fingerprints.

Just passed in the Texas State Senate today is SB 9, a bill sponsored by Florence Shapiro and Juan Hinojosa. All Texas educators will be required to submit their fingerprints to be filed at a national criminal clearinghouse to prevent teachers who have past criminal sexual offense records from teaching in Texas schools.

The requirement is already in place for new teachers. Since October 1, 2003, any applicant for a teaching credential in Texas has been required to submit a set of fingerprints “that a national criminal background check can be conducted by the FBI”.

The bill goes way beyond teachers, however. It covers anyone and everyone who works around children in Texas public and charter schools

Well . . .not everyone is on the list. Here is the list I see:

“A person may not be employed by or serve as a teacher, librarian, educational aide, administrator, or counselor for an open-enrollment charter school unless the person has been approved by the agency following a review of the person's national criminal history record information as provided by Section 22.0832”

I don’t see these people in the list:

Bus drivers
Cafeteria Workers
Campus Police
Secretaries and Clerks

Hopefully, these are all included in the broad brush “and other non-certified public school employees”

I think if some of us are to be fingerprinted, why limit the fun? Let’s all get in on this.

That this is a paternalistic law that infringes on the rights of individuals falls on deaf ears here. Normally I am very progressive about the disclosure of things like fingerprints, but since my prints are already in the FBI files (no, I’m not a criminal, this has been a requirement in other states for certification for a long time) I want to spread the fun around.


Well sadly, this past year I had to add a fourth reason why people become teachers.

Here are three reasons that people go in to teaching, reasons that I have maintained for years:

1. People teach because they love their subjects, they love teaching and they love being around children. They would practically pay to do their jobs which is why teacher pay is so low.

2. People teach because they have had an earlier career, and now later in their lives they think that teaching might be a good way to pass on their knowledge and skills. Besides, having worked in the private sector, they have built up a nest egg and can afford to work for slave wages.

3. People teach because the pay beats what they can get as a checkout clerk at their local supermarket.

And the new reason?

4. People teach because they want to have sex with children.

And that is the reason for SB 9.

1 comment:

Van said...

Oh great! It would just be my luck for them to discover that someone in the federal govt screwed up my naturalization papers in 1963. That's all I need! But seriously, I think it's a good idea, seeing as the news is always so full of your #4 reason. Excluding, of course, the situation in which we all dread, the big retaliation lie. The student who decides that the teacher has done something to piss her or him off and so they go and announce to the authorities that the teacher has done a major sexual no-no to either that student or another. Instantly the teacher is guilty until proven innocent. Unfortunately, just because your fingerprints are not in the sex offenders file doesn't help you any in that case.

What about substitute teachers or everyone hired by a school district? Do you as a parent want the guys changing the A/C filters between classes ogling your daughter or son?