When I see headlines like this I wonder what century we are in. You’d think in the year 2010 that background checks of school officials would have been implemented 20 years ago. In New Jersey background checks for school employees have been in place since 1986. But not for school officials.

Still to this day municipalities across the country are still determining who should or shouldn’t be checked.

A new bill in New Jersey would disqualify school board members from serving if they’ve been convicted of serious crimes. Further, it would require them to pay for the cost to get background checks themselves or with campaign money. The checks cost $80, according to the state Department of Education website.

It’s common sense to require background checks for school volunteers, coaches, teachers and even janitorial staff. So why would a school official be any different? Leaders are supposed to set examples. Leadership is stated as the process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task.

Currently there is no statute that prevents a person with a criminal conviction to become a school board official! Fortunately the bill was unanimously passed.

Citizens cannot rely on their governments to effectively police their officials. It is essential to all those concerned to always check up on someone history. Especially those in positions of trust.

Robert Siciliano is a Personal Security Expert and Adviser to Intelius.com. For more information see Intelius background checks to learn more. See him discussing background checks Court TV. (Disclosures)

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