Thursday, April 18, 2013

Eliminate background checks for people who work with kids?

Please help me understand something. If I'm missing some key piece of the puzzle, educate me.

I've been a sports coach for many years. In order to get into coaching, I had to submit to a background check. In order to continue coaching, I've had to get a new background check every two years. This is required by the state for the schools I've coached at and by the league my club plays in.

I've never heard any coach or parent complain about this burden. I've never heard anyone say, "It's only going to hurt law-abiding people because the bad guys aren't going to follow the legal route anyways."

Nobody is under the delusion that this background check will reduce incidents of crime against kids by coaches to absolute zero. Nobody says, "If football imposes a background check, then the bad guys will just seek access to kids via baseball or music or scouting. So why bother?"

People realize that although the background check won't eliminate all crime, it will reduce the amount of low-hanging fruit. And the cumulative effect will reduce - not eliminate but reduce - the bad guys ability to commit crime simply by diminishing the opportunity.

Every coach I know accepts this as a reasonable burden to increase (not guarantee) safety.

I've never heard any calls to scrap this background check.

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