Jan. 29, 2019 By Christian Murray
A Flushing lawmaker has introduced legislation that would require schools across New York state—whether they be public or private– to conduct background checks on all prospective employees.
The legislation, introduced by Assemblymember Nily Rozic, would require incoming employees to be fingerprinted and undergo a background check before working at a school.
The measure aims to plug up a gap in existing law. Currently, public schools are required by law to fingerprint prospective employees who will have contact with students. However, the measure is optional at private schools.
“With students spending the majority of their day in school it is critical that their school environment be safe and supportive,” Nozic said. “Implementing a fingerprinting procedure that is already standard practice at public schools would provide families with peace of mind.”
The legislation is expected to protect more than 400,000 non-public school children.
State Senator Todd Kaminsky from Long Island has introduced the bill in the upper chamber.
“We owe it to our children—regardless of which school they attend—to ensure they are protected in and out of the classroom,” Kaminsky said.
Elliot Pasik, the co-founder and president of the Jewish Board of Advocates for Children, said the legislation should provide comfort to those families that have been devastated by past abuses.
“This is, genuinely, a people’s bill, born out of suffering, that seeks a brighter day for all school children,” Pasik said.