STATE OF NEW JERSEY
PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2014 SESSION
Assemblyman GORDON M. JOHNSON
District 37 (Bergen)
Requires criminal history background check for certain persons working at schools.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel
An Act concerning criminal history record background checks and amending P.L.1989, c.229 and P.L.1986, c.116.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Section 1 of P.L.1989, c.229 (C.18A:6-4.13) is amended to read as follows:
1. Any nonpublic school may require all final candidates for employment or service under contract with the school as a teacher, substitute teacher, teacher aide, a school physician, school nurse, custodian, maintenance worker, bus driver, security guard, secretary or clerical worker or for any other position which involves regular contact with pupils or which requires the person to be on the premises of the school during regular operating hours for more than one consecutive day, to demonstrate that no criminal history record information exists on file in the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Identification Division, or the State Bureau of Identification which would disqualify that individual from employment in the public schools of this State pursuant to the provisions of P.L.1986, c.116 (C.18A:6-7.1 et seq.). Application of this requirement by a nonpublic school shall be consistent and nondiscriminatory among candidates.
As used in this act, "nonpublic school" means an elementary or secondary school within the State, other than a public school, offering education in grades K-12 or any combination thereof, wherein a child may legally fulfill compulsory school attendance requirements.
(cf: P.L.1998, c.31, s.1)
2. Section 1 of P.L.1986, c.116 (C.18A:6-7.1) is amended to read as follows:
1. A facility, center, school, or school system under the supervision of the Department of Education and board of education which cares for, or is involved in the education of children under the age of 18 shall not employ or contract for the services of any teaching staff member or substitute teacher, teacher aide, child study team member, school physician, school nurse, custodian, school maintenance worker, cafeteria worker, school law enforcement officer, school secretary or clerical worker or any other person serving in a position which involves regular contact with pupils or which requires the person to be on the premises of the school during regular operating hours for more than one consecutive day, unless the employer has first determined consistent with the requirements and standards of this act, that no criminal history record information exists on file in the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Identification Division, or the State Bureau of Identification which would disqualify that individual from being employed or utilized in such capacity or position. An individual employed by a board of education or a school bus contractor holding a contract with a board of education, in the capacity of a school bus driver, shall be required to meet the criminal history record requirements pursuant to section 6 of P.L.1989, c.104 (C.18A:39-19.1). This section shall not apply to any individual who provides services on a voluntary basis.
An individual, except as provided in subsection g. of this section, shall be permanently disqualified from employment or service under this act if the individual's criminal history record check reveals a record of conviction for any crime of the first or second degree; or
a. An offense as set forth in chapter 14 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes, or as set forth in N.J.S.2C:24-4 and 2C:24-7, or as set forth in R.S.9:6-1 et seq., or as set forth in N.J.S.2C:29-2; or
b. An offense involving the manufacture, transportation, sale, possession, distribution or habitual use of a "controlled dangerous substance" as defined in the "Comprehensive Drug Reform Act of 1987," N.J.S.2C:35-1 et al. or "drug paraphernalia" as defined pursuant to N.J.S.2C:36-1 et seq.; or
c. (1) A crime involving the use of force or the threat of force to or upon a person or property including, but not limited to, robbery, aggravated assault, stalking, kidnapping, arson, manslaughter and murder; or
(2) A crime as set forth in chapter 39 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes, a third degree crime as set forth in chapter 20 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes, or a crime as listed below:
Recklessly endangering another person N.J.S.2C:12-2
Terroristic threats N.J.S.2C:12-3
Criminal restraint N.J.S.2C:13-2
Luring, enticing child into motor vehicle,
structure or isolated area P.L.1993, c.291
Causing or risking widespread injury
or damage N.J.S.2C:17-2
Criminal mischief N.J.S.2C:17-3
Threats and other improper influence N.J.S.2C:27-3
Perjury and false swearing N.J.S.2C:28-3
Resisting arrest N.J.S.2C:29-2
(3) Conspiracy to commit or an attempt to commit any of the crimes described in this act.
d. For the purposes of this section, a conviction exists if the individual has at any time been convicted under the laws of this State or under any similar statutes of the United States or any other state for a substantially equivalent crime or other offense.
e. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, an individual shall not be disqualified from employment or service under this act on the basis of any conviction disclosed by a criminal record check performed pursuant to this act without an opportunity to challenge the accuracy of the disqualifying criminal history record.
f. When charges are pending for a crime or any other offense enumerated in this section, the employing board of education shall be notified that the candidate shall not be eligible for employment until the commissioner has made a determination regarding qualification or disqualification upon adjudication of the pending charges.
g. This section shall first apply to criminal history record checks conducted on or after the effective date of P.L.1998, c.31 (C.18A:6-7.1c et al.); except that in the case of an individual employed by a board of education or a contracted service provider who is required to undergo a check upon employment with another board of education or contracted service provider, the individual shall be disqualified only for the following offenses:
(1) any offense enumerated in this section prior to the effective date of P.L.1998, c.31 (C.18A:6-7.1c et al.); and
(2) any offense enumerated in this section which had not been enumerated in this section prior to the effective date of P.L.1998, c.31 (C.18A:6-7.1c et al.), if the person was convicted of that offense on or after the effective date of that act.
(cf: P.L.2002, c.119, s.3)
3. This act shall take effect on the first day of the seventh month following enactment.
This bill would expand the background check requirements for persons working at schools to include any person who will be on the premises of the school during regular operating hours for more than one consecutive day. Under current law, background checks are required for any person serving in a position which involves regular contact with pupils. This bill is intended to require background checks for contractors who have access to students on school grounds. Currently, these contractors are not required to have background checks done because they do not have regular contact with the students.