Background checks only start of process
School system discusses vetting new hires, investigating employees
At a recent information night at Benjamin Stoddert Middle School, some attendees asked how a former instructional assistant now charged with 119 counts related to child sexual abuse could have been allowed near children.
During a press conference following the arrest of Carlos Deangelo Bell, 30, of Waldorf, school officials said Bell passed an extensive background check, and Charles County Sheriff Troy Berry (D)
said it did not appear Bell had a criminal record.
All employees, including substitute and temporary employees, must be fingerprinted, and the fingerprints are submitted to the Criminal Justice Information System, or CJIS, which searches both Maryland and FBI databases, according to information from the school system.
The school system also
makes a Child Protective Services background clearance request, which alerts CCPS to any child abuse findings regarding prospective employees.
Charles County Public Schools typically receives the report within three to five business days. The report includes both felony and misdemeanor convictions and prior charges or cases that did not lead to a conviction but would not include civil cases, said CCPS spokeswoman Katie O’Malley-Simpson.
“If it’s on their record, we would receive that,” O’Malley-Simpson said. “Unless they get it expunged from their record, it’s still there.”
When a “reportable incident” is found, the Office of Human Resources determines whether that incident disqualifies someone from employment, O’Malley-Simpson said.
“It really would depend on the charges, the circumstances around it; we look at everything individually,” O’Malley-Simpson said.