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Criminal Background Checks for Workers with Youth
RCA Encourages All Institutions Dealing with Jewish Youth to Conduct Criminal Background Checks on Employees, and Advocates Legislation Requiring Same
 
 
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(Newark, NJ) May 17, 2005 -- Whereas the Rabbinical Council of America ("RCA") acknowledges the U.S. Congress-mandated report, issued by the U.S. Department of Education in June 2004, entitled, "Educator Sexual Misconduct: A Synthesis of Existing Literature", and notes the recommendation in the report that all public and nonpublic schools perform criminal background checks on all employees; and,

Whereas the RCA acknowledges the 1993 National Child Protection Act and 1998 Volunteers for Children Act (Title 42, U.S. Code, Sections 5119a, et seq.), which encourages and allows qualified schools and youth groups access to the FBI national criminal database for the purpose of conducting national criminal background checks on employees and volunteers; and,

Whereas the RCA acknowledges the modern legal trend of many States enacting statutes which require public and nonpublic schools to perform national criminal background checks on their employees and volunteers; and,

Whereas the RCA acknowledges that many private youth groups are also performing national criminal background checks on their employees and volunteers; and,

Whereas the RCA has previously held, in May 2003, a national conference on the issue of sexual abuse, and enacted a resolution condemning abuse, and established an internal disciplinary mechanism within the RCA for responding to abuse allegations; and,

Whereas, the RCA notes that approximately 100,000 Jewish children attend yeshivas and Hebrew day schools in New York State, and more than 200,000 Jewish children attend yeshivas and Hebrew day schools in the U.S. and Canada, and that these children deserve the highest level of physical security and legal protection possible; and,

Whereas the RCA notes the obligation not to stand by the blood of our brothers, and to safeguard our lives exceedingly,

Now, therefore, it is

Resolved that the RCA endorses the continued enactment of legislation that will require all public and nonpublic schools, including yeshivas and Hebrew day schools, to perform national criminal background checks on all employees (and volunteers and contractors who have access to children); and, it is further

Resolved that the RCA specifically endorses the swift enactment of the legislation recently proposed in New York State that will require all nonpublic schools to perform national criminal background checks on all employees (and volunteers and contractors who have access to children); and, it is further

Resolved that the RCA encourages all yeshivas, Hebrew day schools, and all institutions which deal with Jewish youth to establish a cross-institutional disciplinary system that will bar those who have had inappropriate interaction with children of a sexual or violent nature from professional or volunteer access to, or involvement with, Jewish children, and that an internal registry of such persons be maintained; and, it is further

Resolved that the RCA and its individual members pledge their cooperation and assistance in promoting the passage of background check legislation; in encouraging compliance with existing background check law and future law; and in establishing a cross-institutional Jewish educational disciplinary system and registry for those described above.

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