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When background checks miss the mark

The teacher arrived with excellent credentials and more than 20 years of experience in the classroom when he accepted a position last year at a private school in Menlo Park.

This story contains 1715 words.

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Posted by wmartin46
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Apr 11, 2012 at 3:54 pm

wmartin46 is a registered user.

> Much to the friend's surprise, when she began searching the
> Internet for his name she came across several newspaper
> reports about molestation allegations.

One aspect of this situation that needs discussing is that this teacher seems to have been a victim of “Trial by Media”. The simple publication of allegation seems to be sufficient for an employer to assume guilt of the person identified in the media accounts of some situation that did not result in charges, trial, or conviction.

This is one of the reasons that perhaps the media should not be allowed to print police blotters without any closure to the cases involved. This whole episode demonstrates that “guilty until proven innocent” is alive and well in our country.

It’s one thing to have been found guilty of something, and then lie on an employment application later on. But should people be expected to submit all of the claims of possible wrong-doing that newspapers might have published in one’s past when applying for a job?

Let’s not forget the McMartin Family debacle that occurred in LA some years ago:

Web Link

After being tried and convicted in the media, they were ultimately found innocent.

The unnamed teacher in this article, whose life seems to have been ruined by the media--and his “friend”--probably has not alternative other than to find some other way to make a living.

It’s doubtful than any media outlet that has been involved in this series of events will see themselves as guilty of slander, or defamation of character, since they have been “reporting the news”. Sadly, this fellow, if he really is innocent, has little recourse except to sue the people who made the original claims—which could well be minors, or the statute of limitations now applies.

All-in-all, it’s not clear what the truth is, from this following media accounts=. Further, since this current situation occurred in a private school, there is little hope of finding out anything from them.

We all probably believe the “public has a right to know” .. but should we not also expect to “know the truth”?


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