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.
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.
- Congress.Gov: H.R.2083 - Protecting Students from Sexual and Violent Predators Act
- The Federal Bureau of Investigation: Criminal History Summary Checks
- Fieldprint Fingerprinting: FAQS
- Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams LLP: Act 24 Changes To Criminal Background Check Statute
- Online Sunshine: The 2013 Florida Statutes
- Kean University: Disqualifying Offenses for Teacher Certification, Criminal Background Check, and Substitute Teacher Certification
- Criminal History Summary Checks: Challenge of a Criminal History Summary
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