Personnel vote is 4-1 over volunteer background checks
Morgan County School Board member John Rowland voted against the personnel actions at the August 21 school board meeting after learning that school volunteers didn’t receive a criminal background check.
The addenda with personnel actions included approval of volunteers for Berkeley Springs High School and Warm Springs Middle School.
Assistant Superintendent Joan Willard said there was a new company processing the criminal background checks that took much longer than previously and it had become frustrating. With PASS volunteers, they had waited halfway into the school year for the results of the checks to come back while students waited for mentors.
Volunteers at each school were first okayed by the school principal. They were then checked through the Lobby Guard entrance system as they sign in, which screens out sex offenders, she said.
If any volunteers were red flagged, Prevention Resource Officer Deputy Kevin Barney ran a background check on them, Willard said.
Rowland said that was good, but his worry was that it didn’t check for felonies and other criminal situations. He said after the meeting that you couldn’t be too careful in this day and age and that his dissenting vote sent a message that they needed to take a closer look at this volunteer issue.
Rowland said he didn’t have a problem with any of the personnel actions on the agenda, which the board approved 4-1. His concern was the criminal background checks for volunteers.