Nashville public school officials are pledging to take a hard look at their personnel policies after a routine background check of custodians found 56 with criminal records serious enough to bar them from working in a school, The Tennessean reports. The district recently outsourced its janitorial work, and the new company, Ohio-based GCA, required workers to be fingerprinted and undergo background checks before they could reapply for their old jobs. For many longtime employees, it was the first time anyone had checked to see whether they had a criminal record.
The records turned up three cases of aggravated assault with serious bodily injury, and eight cases of aggravated assault with a razor or pistol. There were cases of domestic assault, drug possession, robbery, forgery, driving under the influence, sexual battery, indecent exposure and patronizing a prostitute. In the end, 56 members, or 9.3 percent, of the district’s 600-person custodial staff could not be rehired because they flunked the background check. “This was disturbing, to see those results,” said district spokeswoman Meredith Libbey.