CTU Says Fingerprint Background Check Is Causing A Disaster For Teachers, Staff

Teachers may miss first day of class due to new CPS background checks

Craig Dellimore
August 31, 2018 - 12:37 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The Chicago Teachers Union is accusing school administrators and the Mayor of creating a disaster by making a new security requirement in the wake of the sex harassment scandal in the schools.

CTU acting President Jesse Sharkey said by requiring all teachers to submit to fingerprint background checks, the school system is treating the faculty like criminals, not the resources they are. He said these checks could block hundreds of good and trustworthy teachers from the first day of school next week. Things on records like, in one case, a 1979 arrest for drunkenness, are holding staff back; and notifications are just coming now. 

"Some of these are people who had no arrests at all. But, if there was anything at all in the background check that they didn't like, they are telling you you can't report to your duty. It's sort of a disaster," Sharkey said.

"The first day of school is a singular event. That is an incredibly important day for teachers to establish trust with students and their parents. You are talking about people who teach 5- and 6-year olds. We are talking about social workers who will be kept out of schools on the first day."

Sharkey said the union has no argument with requiring background checks. But, he said, officials should do them right, and should not disrupt the all-important important first day of class. He said if CPS really wants to keep kids safe, it would give teachers a number to call if they suspect abuse against children and refresh the training on signs to look for and how to report abuse. 

WBBM Newsradio has asked the Chicago Public Schools for a response, and await their answer