School District Fingerprinting Parents

Thursday, October 18th 2007, 4:23 pm
By: News On 6

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The Philadelphia School District is trying to clarify a policy that requires parents to submit to FBI fingerprinting before they can enter their children's classrooms.

One mother says she found out about the new policy when she signed in to visit her daughter's first-grade class at the Meredith Elementary School. Alison McDowell says she was told every parent who enters the school must have criminal, child abuse and FBIfingerprint clearances.

Alison McDowell went to the School Reform Commission, where commissioner Jim Gallagher urged staff to simplify the clearance process. He called the policy "crazy."

A new state law requires employees to have FBI background checks. But a district official says some principals may have mistakenly extended that requirement to parent volunteers.