Despite the conviction less than two months ago of Jose Martinez on charges of child sex abuse, it's as if the repeated rape of a student in a school office never happened. It's business as usual for the New Rochelle Board of Education.
On November 29th, the New Rochelle Board of Education was asked to review Resolution 10-180-12, expected to be voted on at tomorrow's nights meeting, which will retroactively approve the "emergency" hiring of 9 individuals who began work 4-6 weeks ago without the required criminal background checks.
Further, under Resolution 12-180, the board will approve waiving for twenty more days the requirement under the New York State Department of Education S.A.V.E. Law that all school district employees submit to fingerprinting and pass a criminal background check prior to their employment by a public school district.
A search for information about "waiving" the fingerprinting requirement on the New York State Department of Education web site did not disclose any legal basis on which a local school board could vote to override the requirements of this State law. Even if it is permissible, it is not clear why the board would do this considering the Jose Martinez disaster. Former school board member Martin Sanchez revealed previously that convicted child molester Jose Martinez began work for the district in 2007 despite the absence of a completed criminal background check.
Of course, it's not like there is case after case where employees were hired without proper certification and background checks, where employees were given promotions without taking civil service exams, fraudulent 211 pension waivers, administrative positions without administrative licenses and more. Nope. Just business as usual.
And just who are these mission critical employees whose hiring is such an "emergency", whose skills are so valuable that the district is willing to put into contact with children a group of adults who have not passed a criminal background check?
The list includes 2 lunchroom monitors and 7 substitute cleaners. One started work on October 24th, another on October 27th, the rest on November 9th.
This section provides individuals, school districts, charter schools, and boards of cooperative educational services (BOCES) with information on the State fingerprinting requirement. New York State law requires that the Office of School Personnel Review and Accountability conduct fingerprint supported criminal history background checks for applicants for certification and all prospective employees of school districts, charter schools and BOCES. The side links provide information about the law and will guide you through the fingerprint process.