October 1, 2010
Over 3,700 schools in Texas and 7,000 nationwide have implemented a system requiring parents visiting their children to undergo a background check upon arrival to the school. This check is carried out by a company called Raptor, which summarizes their services as:
Thousands of schools and community facilities across the country use Raptor’s V-soft visitor management and screening technology to help protect children from sex offenders, domestic dispute offenders and other trespassers. V-soft works in conjunction with law enforcement to add an extra layer of security and keep our kids safe.
While the mission of protecting children from sex offenders has a broad appeal, domestic dispute charges include a broad range of situations including issues as minor as loud arguments among siblings. A definition of domestic dispute from USLegal.com describes the term as including non-crimes:
A domestic dispute is generally any quarrel, which may or may not include violence, within a family or between members of the same household. Definitions are governed by local laws, which vary, and may also cover including any child or an adult or fully emancipated minor who is a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant or person with whom a suspect has had a child or has or has had a dating or engagement relationship. It may or may not include criminal behavior. Local laws should be consulted for specific requirements in your area.
According to Raptor, their background check includes arrest records, which doesn’t indicate conviction or acquittal indicating that the notion of being innocent until proven guilty does not apply here. Below are the records included in a Raptor background check:
# Arrest Records (ARST)
# Administrative Office of the Courts
# Department of Corrections
# County Court
# District Court
# Superior Court
# Municipal Court
# District Clerk
# Common Pleas
# Clerk of Court
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
Recently, parents have begun taking legal action to defend their constitutional right to privacy, however, a federal appeals court has ruled that screening for sex offenders does not violate constitutional rights. The court failed to address the fact that Raptor screens for a much larger set of circumstances than sex offenses. Local Austin news station KXAN reported:
But a few years before, another mother, Yvonne Meadows, said, for simply wanting to see her child, Raptor seemed a little extreme, even an unconstitutional invasion of privacy.
“Don’t be asking me to fork out this information so I can go participate with my kids and their education,” Meadows told KXAN on the phone in 2008, when her case was still in the trial stage.
She has since moved away from the district, home schools her kids.
Disappointingly, teachers and faculty are being hired around the nation with often violent criminal records. Almost every week now, a story comes out about sex crimes being committed against students. While parents are being forced to reveal their entire history in order to see their own child, teachers are passed through the system.
Public schools have become more and more like prisons over the years as students are issued ids allowing them to be tracked as they move from class to class, subject to aggressive and violent “training operations“, and otherwise treated more like prisoners and less like citizens. For years public schools have increased in militarism, allowing themselves to give up state’s rights for national control.