our everyday life

FBI Background Check for Teaching

by Candice Mancini

In October 2013, H.R. 2083, Protecting Students from Sexual and Violent Predators Act, passed in the House, potentially paving the way to a federal requirement to conduct FBI background checks for all school employees, including teachers. As of 2013, most states required an FBI background check for anyone who applied for a teaching license or a teaching job.

Getting Fingerprinted

An FBI criminal background check begins with fingerprints. To be fingerprinted, you must bring two forms of identification, one of which must be a valid government-issued photo ID. Typically, results are received within three to five business days. If no criminal history exists, the response will specify that you have no prior arrest data. If prior arrests are found, the FBI will send a "rap sheet" with the following information for each arrest: the name of the arresting agency, the date of the arrest, the arrest charge and the disposition of the arrest.

Background Check Results

Not all arrests and charges will disqualify you for a teaching position. For instance, a misdemeanor such as a traffic violation or long-ago petty theft, may not. However, felonies -- including crimes related to sexual conduct or molestation, acts of violence and the possession of weapons -- are grounds for disqualification in most districts. If you believe your criminal history contains false information, the FBI suggests you either contact the arresting agency or send a written request to the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services Division.

About the Author

Candice Mancini has always loved matching people with career paths. After earning her master's degree in education from the University at Albany, she spent a decade teaching and writing before becoming a full-time writer. Mancini has published articles and books on education, careers, social issues, the environment and more.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images