Pinellas clarifies its volunteer policy
The Pinellas County School District has put out a Q&A about its volunteer screening requirements in an attempt to clarify what appears to be widespread confusion about the policy. It seems that many schools weren't following the policy, passed in 2009, and then went a little overboard and started requiring expensive, more rigorous background checks when it wasn't necessary. The Level 2 checks cost between $48 and $51.
My colleague, Dan Sullivan, wrote about the issue last month. See his story here.
The School Board will have a brief update on the issue at its workshop meeting Tuesday. The item is scheduled for 15 minutes at 1 p.m. (Keep in mind, if you plan to attend, that the public isn't allowed to comment at workshops and the board doesn't always stick to the schedule.)
Here's a link to the Q&A. Here some sample questions:
1. A parent has been asked by the school to transport students to the track meet. Is Level 2 screening required?
Yes, because transportation was organized by the school and the parent will have unsupervised contact with the students while driving.
2. A parent drives his/her child and neighborhood children to a track meet. Is Level 2 screening required?
No, because transportation was not organized by the school or at the direction of school staff. The parents are simply carpooling.
Also, for those who aren't sure, a Level 2 screening includes fingerprinting for statewide criminal history, checks through the state Department of Law Enforcement and national criminal history screen through the FBI.