Do NYC Dept of Education background checks include violation charges?
August 22, 2018 7:09 PM   Subscribe

My friend is working towards a teaching credential for the New York City school system. Will their arrest for disorderly conduct, and charge for that violation, show up on the DOE background check, and will it stop NYC DOE from letting them observe classrooms as a student teacher?

Earlier this year, as part of a nonviolent protest in the state of New York, my friend was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct (which is apparently a violation, a lesser level of offense than a misdemeanor). They are (in the next few days or weeks) going to get the fingerprinting and background check so the Department of Education will let them observe classes (which they need to do to get their certification).

My friend has spoken with a lawyer (for the nonprofit that they protested with) and that lawyer is working to get the charge dismissed soon. Evidently this disorderly conduct charge is supposed to automatically expire six months after the arrest, but that's months in the future, after they need to get the background check.
posted by brainwane to Law & Government (3 answers total)
I can’t speak specifically to the NY Dept of Ed, but I do work in HR at a school district. This would absolutely not stop us from hiring long as they were truthful and detailed in their disclosure (most districts have disclosure forms that will require them to detail criminal history up front - be careful to disclose everything). Be honest and upfront any time there is a chance to be, and I really think you’ll be fine with this kind of incident.
posted by leitmotif at 9:48 PM on August 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

Your friend has two choices:

1 -- Tell NYC DOE about the violation. Let them go through their normal processes.

2 -- Don't tell NYC DOE about the violation. Wait for some student or parent to google your friend's name. Be fired for not revealing it.
posted by Etrigan at 6:24 AM on August 23, 2018

Tell whomever will be receiving the results of the background check about the violation -- that it was a non-violent protest (literally anything other than a white supremacist rally is probably fine), that it's a violation, the specifics of when it rolls off the record/gets expunged/whatever, etc.

I don't know New York's rules specifically but I looked at dozens and dozens of background checks where something popped up in Illinois for school hiring. The things that mattered were felonies, any and all sexual crimes, any and all offenses against children, multiple DUIs (any DUIs for anyone in a job with any driving), or a pattern that would make us question that person's judgment or safety around children. Anyone who had a sex offense we had to flatly deny (we had one applicant who, while in college, got caught by a cop having sex in a secluded park on campus with his girlfriend at 2 a.m., but it was technically a sex offense, everyone felt bad), but otherwise we had a fair amount of discretion. We had one volunteer who'd served nearly 10 years for two separate convictions for grand theft auto when he was like 18, had been out for 20 years and a productive member of society without even a speeding ticket since then, and we approved him no problem. Someone getting in fistfights at bars every weekend, or with a domestic violence conviction, or who has a pattern over the past decade of picking up a big-deal misdemeanor every couple of years, or who has lost their license more than once for too many speeding tickets, those are all problems, as they show someone with ongoing poor judgment and poor self-control who probably shouldn't be around children.

Some who did something stupid in college, got convicted, and hasn't fucked up since? Not a problem. Someone who got arrested at a non-violent protest? DEFINITELY not a problem (as long as it wasn't pro-hate-speech). That shows youthful immaturity the person has learned from that they've demonstrated by staying out of trouble and a responsible member of society participating in democracy in an appropriate and non-violent fashion, respectively. They don't demonstrate sexual risk, a danger to children, or an ongoing pattern of problematic behavior and poor self-control.

Honestly I'd be more worried about making sure his public-facing social media is inoffensive!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:56 AM on August 23, 2018

« Older It's not a retweet .. is it?   |   Looking for GIF of cat kissing dog Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.