A bill introduced Friday would require new employees at private schools in New York state be fingerprinted and undergo background checks by the state.
The measure, backed by Sen. Todd Kaminsky and Assemblywoman Nily Rozic, would expand the security checks currently in place for public schools for employees who have contact with students. Currently, fingerprinting and background checks are optional for non-public schools.
“With students spending a majority of their day in school, it is critical that their school environment be safe and supportive,” Rozic said.
“Implementing a fingerprinting procedure that is already standard practice at public schools would provide families with peace of mind, knowing that all children are safe, no matter what school they attend.”
The bill comes as the Legislature on Monday is due to vote on the Child Victims Act, a bill that is meant to make it easier for the survivors and victims of childhood sexual abuse to file lawsuits.
“Our students are tomorrow’s leaders and it is critical for us to take every step necessary to ensure their safety in the classroom,” Kaminsky said. “It is imperative that everyone who has contact with students across our State undergo a comprehensive fingerprint-based criminal background check. We owe it to our children — regardless of which school they attend — to ensure they are protected in and out of the classroom.”