History Key to School Employment

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To become a teacher in the Bryan or College Station school districts is no easy task.

Just to be considered, applicants must first go through an extensive background check.

"They agree to have a criminal history search done and that is both a local, statewide and a national criminal history check that is done on all applicants," said Sandy Farris of Bryan ISD.

Officials at College Station ISD also say those same rules apply to those wishing to be involved in any job at the school, including volunteers.

"If you're going to help with a field trip, if you're going to come help in the workroom, we do a criminal history check. If you're going to help in the cafeteria, a criminal history check is going to be done on anybody that's in the school on a regular basis," said Chrissy Hester of College Station ISD.

The background check reveals to school officials, any prior convictions or arrests.

Hester says, school officials take any marks on applicants records very seriously.

"Any hit is a red flag. Particularly any hit that has to do with students or theft, drugs, any of those kinds of things," said Hester.

Officials at Bryan ISD also say that prior convictions or assaults are red flags for them, however some less severe offenses may not prevent them from hiring someone.

"In some cases if it's an offense that occurred when someone was younger, depending on the severity of the conviction of the crime, there may be a review taken of that offense," said Farris. "So something on a criminal history record may not preclude them from being hired necessarily, but you take it on a case by case basis."

However, with recent stories of teachers engaging in inappropriate behaviors with students, some parents may worry how affective those background checks are.

But officials with Bryan ISD say cases which have recently surfaced, all came out with clean background checks.

"We have rejected applicants based on what came up in a criminal history check, so the process is working for us," said Farris.