Open Records & Fingerprinting Teachers in Texas


The Austin school district did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
Austin was the first district to implement a new law requiring all certified teachers and substitutes to be fingerprinted by Sept. 1, 2011. Other school employees, such as janitors and cafeteria workers, will be required to complete the process at the time of their hire.
The prints are scanned by the Department of Public Safety and sent to the FBI for a national criminal history database check. School employees who don’t comply risk losing their teaching certification.
The newspaper requested documents showing a school-by-school breakdown of crimes revealed in the background checks and the outcomes of those cases. The newspaper has reported that it did not ask for names or other identifying information.
The district argued that releasing the requested information would violate employees’ privacy rights and is not in the public interest.

4 thoughts on “Open Records & Fingerprinting Teachers in Texas”

  1. I am a certified teacher in Texas who has taught in
    Austin I.S.D. and Leander I.S.D.. I have been subbing in Austin the past few years.
    When the letter came out in Feb.(?) that all teachers and substitutes needed to comply to being fingerprinted within80 days, I really dragged my feet.
    Today is July 21st and I still haven’t “complied”….and sit here wondering what is the right thing to do.
    “I have nothing to hide”….this is what others who have already been fingerprinted are eager to say. I have nothing to hide either, but don’t we all have something to stand up for here?
    I just got off the phone with an A.I.S.D. employee in the main office who assures me that my certification is currently not active because I have not yet complied. She also assures me that every district in the state is now requiring this, and has most probably completed fingerprinting by now. I haven’t yet had a chance to
    look into either of those statements, but feel a bit dumbfounded by both.
    I don’t know what my final decision will be about being fingerprinted, but I’ve often wondered if there are others out there who feel that something is not quite right about all of this. Or is it just me?

  2. I’m a private music teacher who has to front the money for this project. I’d like to know why the fingerprints from my drivers license can’t be used. This sounds a litte fishy to me!

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