Lawmaker Proposes Bill to Keep Students Safe
Santa Fe, NM – Today, Rep. David Adkins pre-filed a bill that will better protect New Mexico’s students by ensuring employees in the education system do not pose an unnecessary risk to students. The bill would require all school district employees, regardless of their position, to pass a background check.
The proposal would close a loophole that allows school employees who have worked continuously in the same district before 1999 to be employed without a background check. This bill would make it mandatory for both new hires and current employees of school districts to pass a background check.
“Parents shouldn’t have to wonder about the people their children interact with on a day-to-day basis,” Adkins said. “This bill would be a protection for students by ensuring all school employees pass a background check.”
Under current law, many school employees, like cooks and custodial staff, have regular contact with students but they are not required to pass a background check. In addition, other employees who do not directly interact with students are not required to successfully complete a background check, but they still have access to schools and students.
Employees without a background check would have until July 2017 to comply with the law.