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Criminal felons may be in your child’s school.

Posted in Crime Prevention December 12th, 2008 @ 11:13 am

Every day we send our children to school thinking that they are safe from criminals. However, a recent arrest in one Colorado school shows that criminal felons may be in your child’s school and you don’t even know it!

According to Colorado state law, schools prohibit hiring any schoolteacher or staff member who commits felony crimes that are violent, sexual or dishonest in nature. However, those who have felony drug convictions or other non-violent felonies on their records fall through the cracks, sometimes putting children in danger. Recently Arnold Martinez was arrested in a multi-million dollar drug sting when authorities allegedly found 1,300 marijuana plants on his property. Martinez was a high school wrestling coach at a Greeley, Colorado school. Because he wasn’t a teacher or staff member, the school hired him knowing that he had previous convictions on drug charges. His past didn’t fall into the prohibited hiring law.

When a local news station did more investigating, they found a guidance counselor, a teacher and now a wrestling coach all had felony criminal records but were allowed to work at Colorado schools because of the poorly stated law. The Colorado State Legislator is planning to change the law.

In any case, any state law should not allow school districts to hire convicted felons to positions where they are in constant contact with your children. The law needs to include felony drug crimes. Make sure that your state law includes this in their school’s hiring guidelines. If not, insist on making changes.

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