Fingerprinting is an important process that many employers require in order for a person to obtain a job. Fingerprinting clearance is done to check a person’s background to make sure that he or she has never been convicted of a crime that would prevent him or her from obtaining the job in question. Jobs like teachers and day-care workers need to be fingerprinted to ensure that children who come into contact with these professionals are being taught and taken care of by someone who has not broken the law or been convicted of a crime. As the researcher who lives in North Carolina it was very difficult finding what the fingerprint process is. One would think that every state would require that any teacher seeking employment to teach at a school would need to go through a fingerprinting process to receive clearance to prove that no criminal offenses have been done by that teacher. The State of North Carolina does not require fingerprinting to be done (Teach.com, n.d.). Some counties may require fingerprinting to be done but the entire state does not. Not being able to find this information for North Carolina has led this researcher to look at another state to see what that state’s requirements are. Fingerprinting for Arizona
The State of Arizona allows a person seeking employment, professional license, or admittance into an educational program to apply for a Fingerprint Clearance Card. The Card is a small laminated card, similar to a driver’s license, which verifies that said person is capable of legal and gainful employment based on his criminal background or lack thereof (Higbee & Associates, 2011). Some offenses that would preclude a teacher candidate for being able to receive a fingerprint clearance are those applicants required to register as a sex offender, or who have been convicted of or are awaiting trial for first or second degree murder, sexual assault, child abuse, molestation of a child, sexual abuse, assault, theft, robbery, cruelty to animals, kidnapping, arson, welfare fraud, possession or use of any controlled substances, etc. However, even if a person has been convicted of or is on trial for any of the listed offenses, he or she may petition the Board for a good cause exception (Higbee & Associates, 2011). If a person is denied fingerprint clearance he or she has 30 days to appeal and must fill out an appeal packet. Once the appeal packet is received, the Department of Public Safety will conduct an extensive background check on the individual. After that a Board then decides whether or not to give fingerprint clearance to the individual. The Board will then decide to 1) grant the applicant an automatic clearance based on the information provided in the appeal documents and the background check, or 2) grant the applicant a hearing. If the applicant is granted a hearing, he or she will be notified of the time and place of the hearing. At the hearing, the burden of proof falls on the applicant to present evidence that he or she has made positive changes since the time of the conviction. The applicant may have an attorney present with him. Judgments that have been set aside or dismissed are looked upon favorably, as they demonstrate the applicant’s rehabilitation and ability to be a law-abiding citizen. Applicants are therefore well advised to consult an attorney prior to initially applying to obtain the Card (Higbee & Associates, 2011). As the researcher looking into fingerprint clearance the State of North Carolina should require that individuals seeking employment, professional license, or admittance into an educational program to apply for a Fingerprint Clearance Card. Acquiring fingerprint clearance helps to keep schools free of criminals and sex offenders away from children. Fingerprinting could help to keep criminals away from jobs that could cause an individual to hurt another person. A person’s background could play a big factor on whether or not he or she gets a job. If a person’s background or criminal record or lack thereof is not looked into then an employer may not know if that person has any priors. It is better to be safe then sorry when it comes to teachers who will be teaching children.
Higbee & Associates. (2011). Arizona fingerprint clearance cards. Retrieved February 10, 2011 from http://www.recordgone.com/articles/Arizona-fingerprint-clearance-card.htm Teach.com. (n.d.). Licensing and certification requirements. Retrieved February 10,
2011, from http://teach.gov/become-teacher/licensing-and-certification/NC