Background checks

So, I’m teaching a two-week writing course at the Belin-Blank Center this summer. (http://www.education.uiowa.edu/belinblank/summer/programs/3-6/chess/ic_session_2/author_author.asp) My students will be 3rd-6th grade gifted kids who like to write. I can’t think of a more enjoyable group to teach.

I just received a packet of stuff to fill out for the Belin Center including an employment contract, teacher meeting RSVP form, supply order form, payroll forms, 2006 resume, class syllabus, introductory letter to my students, and completed background check information forms! I have to submit to a criminal background check (as well as fill out a scary looking form entitled “Applicant Declaration of Criminal Conviction History”)??? Nobody mentioned anything about a background check when I was asked to do this back last November. Not that there’s anything that should show up on a background check…well, except maybe that little incident I had in Washington D.C. when I was 21.

While my husband was at a conference, I was touring D.C. By myself. Naive Midwestern girl that I was (did I mention I was 21 at the time…and touring D.C. ALONE???), I happened to have a can of mace in my purse. Who knew that if you walked into the capitol building with a can of mace in your purse that it would result in an arrest with fingerprinting and everything? I SWEAR that’s the only time I’ve ever been arrested! But still…I don’t mind filling out the scary “Applicant Declaration of Criminal Conviction History” form, but to do a criminal background check on top of that seems like overkill. Am I guilty until proven innocent? I suppose they’re protecting kids, but still…it seems to me we’re living in a society where the rights of law-abiding citizens just keep eroding away…

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