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SPS To Consider Fingerprint Background Checks For Longtime Employees

SPS To Consider Fingerprint Background Checks For Longtime Employees

By Lynne Roberts. CREATED Jun 11, 2014

An internal audit of the Springfield School Board, which was requested following the abduction and murder of Hailey Owens, has been completed.  The report found that the district does not have fingerprint records for employees hired before to 2005.

"We, as a district, are requesting more information on what it would take to get everyone's fingerprints into our database," said Board President Denise Fredrick.  "We want to know how many employees were hired prior to the rule change, what it is going to cost, and if we have the ability to actually provide the fingerprinting service." 

Craig Michael Wood, who had been a paraprofessional in the district since 1998, has been charged with Hailey's death.  Fredrick said longtime employees like Wood, who were not fingerprinted before the state mandate, were subjected to a "name only" background check before they were hired.  She adds that there was nothing in Wood's background to suggest he was dangerous.

It's estimated that more than 1,400 staff members were hired before fingerprints were required by the state.  The cost to add those types of records to the database would be about $64,000. 

The board is expected to make a decision within 60 days.