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  1. #1
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    Default Convicted felon allowed to volunteer at school?




    Should a convicted felon be allowed to volunteer at their child’s school?



    So apparently in the US or at least in Okaloosa County, a parent is fighting the right to be able to volunteer at his child's school due to a felony conviction from almost 20 years ago!
    Do you think it's right that someone who has turned their life around and is simply wanting to do the best for their child is being refused because of his past?

    I know here in the UK we have background checks done by the Disclosure and Barring Service. You need this check if you're working with children or vulnerable adults, however I know that having a criminal record doesn't necessarily mean you wont be able to volunteer at your child's school, it'll be much dependant upon the nature of the crime committed as well as how long ago said crime was. Obviously if your crime was child abuse, then you'll have no hope in being accepted, however if it was something like threatening behaviour 20 years ago, then I'm sure you'll have no problems.

    However that isn't the case for Jason Harwell (Source below) as he's being refused permission to volunteer at his child's school because of that exact reason.

    What are your thoughts on this?
    Should it be a blanket policy, or should the school/state/council handle it case-by-case?
    Source


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    Last edited by Sectional; 09-01-2020 at 09:07 PM.



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  2. #2
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    This debate is now open!



    I deserve to be alright, I deserve to sleep at night
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    Better treat him well, cause he's with me till the end


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    Default

    It's currently based on the nature of the conviction and that's the way it should stay. I'm sure certain convictions disappear from disclosure requests anyway after a certain amount of time. Your past should not tarnish your future, people can and do change. However, certain convictions must always be a no.

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    It'd depend what crime was committed and the nature of the new job. If his conviction involved children in any way I would say no, he shouldn't be allowed to volunteer in that specific position. Understandably, someone can change and they may regret their decisions from years ago, but there's nothing to say that working/volunteering in that situation could trigger old habits or memories. I don't think this just applies for working with children though; for example if someone was convicted for theft years prior, then would you trust them in a position in say a supermarket or as an accountant?

    There's someone who I know who came into my old place of work, who I know has a criminal record from stealing from the elderly (she worked in care and stole from the people she was meant to be helping). Whenever she comes in the shop, I am wary because I know what she has done and what she is capable of. She would never be allowed to work in care again regardless of how many years pass, but she then wouldn't be trusted in a position that handles money (like above).

    Overall, it all depends on what crime was committed and what it involved. At the same time though, I believe it should be up to the employee or whoever they would be volunteering for. Some people deserve second chances, others overstep the line in whatever crime they broke and therefore do not deserve one [a second chance].

  5. #5
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    Convicted felon is a strange term for a British person to use, you mean Convicted criminal?

    And depends on the crime like the others have said. The old adage though, leopards don't change their spots...


  6. #6
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    As a mother, I say no. I don't want someone who has the nature or capability to commit a crime to be in a position where my child would look up to them, or learn from. 20 years ago or not, if you allow it for one you have to allow for more & that just doesn't sit well with me.

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    A crime committed twenty years ago shouldn't still hold so much power over someone. As others have said, obviously if it was super serious or involved children then that's a different case. But holding a decision against someone for their entire life does nothing but make them feel forced to keep making bad decisions.

    Quote Originally Posted by YellowBelli View Post
    As a mother, I say no. I don't want someone who has the nature or capability to commit a crime to be in a position where my child would look up to them, or learn from. 20 years ago or not, if you allow it for one you have to allow for more & that just doesn't sit well with me.
    But surely literally everyone is capable of committing a crime? That's the whole point of free will...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Empired View Post


    But surely literally everyone is capable of committing a crime? That's the whole point of free will...
    Ha! Wrong choice of words by me. I mean if someone has the behavioral qualities to commit crime I wouldn't want them spending a lot of time with my child. Young children learn very quickly and absorb a lot of knowledge from their surroundings. My daughter copies my personality.. it's a little bit scary what they pick up!!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by YellowBelli View Post
    As a mother, I say no. I don't want someone who has the nature or capability to commit a crime to be in a position where my child would look up to them, or learn from. 20 years ago or not, if you allow it for one you have to allow for more & that just doesn't sit well with me.
    Would you not say it would depend on the nature of the crime they committed? Someone might be in prison for something such as tax evasion or fraud, and have done their time for the crime, learned that it's not worth spending months/years in prison wasting their life away, and completely unrelated to that and their past, they want to help volunteer at their kids school.

    Technically speeding is a crime, not a criminal one, but nevertheless a crime... and I can say without a doubt that everyone has committed that crime at least once in their life if they drive... If you got refused the right to volunteer at your kids school simply because you previously got a speeding ticket, you might argue the relevance between the two.. Doesn't mean you're a bad person and shouldn't be a role model for kids, especially if it was 20 years ago... If I committed a crime 20 years ago, and was working with kids, then it's not exactly something that would ever be brought up in conversation, therefore the kids would never know about my past.. Not to mention that 1 action doesn't and shouldn't define a person for the rest of their lives... I mean if it's murder, rape etc.. then fair enough, but crimes such as money laundering, tax evasion, selling low class drugs etc... It's not like they're going to talk about their wrong doings to kids... The same way I don't go around telling random people about all my drunken shenanigans, and how I acted and what I did when I was plastered with alcohol..

    Long story short, my brother got in a fight a few months back and I went over with him to try to calm the situation down, ended up getting in a brawl with 6 blokes... As a result I'm currently being done for an Affray (Causing a disturbance in a public place which can be distressing for the public) which can lead to a prison sentence. Obviously I'm pleading not guilty because it was self defence either of myself or defence of my brother, went to an interview with the police and now it's up to them on how they want to swing things... This is the first time I've been on the wrong side of the law, I'd be pretty pissed off if in 20 years I want to help at my kids school and get refused because I went to help my brother not get jumped by 6 blokes 20 years ago... That one action does not define who I am as a person... I'd make the same decision again, as he's my brother after all.

    Heck some schools even hire in people who have done such crimes, to teach kids not to follow in their footsteps and walk them through their story and how they turned their life around.



    I deserve to be alright, I deserve to sleep at night
    I'm my closest friend, I remind myself again
    Better treat him well, cause he's with me till the end


    I'm not senDing sublimInal messagEs to rule breakers

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