Sweeping changes in Ohio laws intended to keep students safe have uncovered criminal offenses — some decades old — that are costing school employees their jobs, says the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The impact has been especially evident among nonteaching employees who, until this year, did not have to undergo the kind of comprehensive background checks done for teachers. Now, staffers such as custodians, secretaries, and cafeteria workers may face dismissal for newly unearthed offenses committed years ago.
John Reccord, a night supervisor for the Orange school district who has worked there for nearly two decades, stands to lose his job for an offense to which he pleaded guilty 35 years ago and was sentenced to probation. Said an official from another school district: “We absolutely need to protect children by checking the background of school employees. The problem we’re struggling with is that schools are being forced to let some exemplary employees go.”