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Free Background Check Resources: Tennessee News

A Lesson in Effective Background Check Strategies

Officials at the Nashville, TN Public Schools System are still recovering from shock. One of its employees has recently been arrested for outstanding child sex charges. The warrants were accidentally discovered by a highway patrolman who stopped him for a traffic violation. The former high school educational assistant faces a variety of charges: two counts of rape, sexual battery by an authority figure, and attempted sexual battery by an authority figure.

Apparently, accusations against this man began to arise in the summer of 2005. He was employed by a different school system at the time, and resigned two months later. The charges against him weren't filed until March of 2006. However, the Nashville school system hired him two years ago, in 2007, based on a clean background check. Why did the background check fail to discover this man's heinous history? Public school officials must have the answers that will prevent such dangerous blunders from repeating in the future.

Let's examine what happened here. One possible explanation being offered is that the warrants didn't show up on the background check because they were outstanding. That doesn't make any sense. The same outstanding warrants did show up on the highway patrol's instant background check.

The answer must lie in the way the school system background check was performed and analyzed. Often, a nationwide or a statewide report may return zero criminal records, whereas a county-based report may produce a different story. County courthouses are notorious for late case reporting, so state and federal record systems often fall behind and generally are not as current. It is always best to start small, close to home, and gradually widen the scope of scrutiny.

Now, local school officials want to make sure the same thing doesn't happen ever again. They have become fanatical in their hiring process: every teaching candidate is now required to undergo not one, but three background checks. The safety of every child in the public school jurisdiction depends on thoroughly vetted teachers and staff.

The above account is based on a true story. Background checks protect peaceful citizens from being deceived and/or harmed by a cunning criminal.

A Big-Hearted Aunt

Marisol Alvarado was a busy young mother with three children. She devoted most of her free time to her two sons and a daughter, all under the age of five. Marisol's life consisted of cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping and all the other tasks every homemaker does on a daily basis. The most important duty she faced every day was loving, teaching, wiping off tears and handing out hugs and kisses. In spite of how busy and noisy things could get at the Alvarado home every day, friends and family were welcome to stop by any time: Marisol was a great cook and hostess. Everyone who knew her was used to her always being really busy with her flock, yet somehow managing to do it all.

Yet, even her greatest advocates thought Marisol Alvarado might have taken on too much when she adopted her newborn nephew Mario. His mother, Marisol's sister, was found unfit to raise her son, and of all the family members, the State chose the infant's aunt as the best person for the job. Immediately after Mario's birth on June 7, 2007, he was placed in Aunt Marisol's custody.

Mario died when he was but three weeks old. He died at the hands of his enraged aunt, who violently shook the newborn and then flung him into the air. The baby suffered severe head injuries and multiple bone fractures. Alvarado did take the unresponsive infant to the hospital, where all efforts were made to save him, but he soon died.

Before the police arrived to take her away, Alvarado fled from Tennessee with her three children, violating a DCS Safety Plan and evading arrest. For nearly a year now, police have been searching for Marisol Alvarado and her three children, whose lives may also be in danger. They may be traveling with Alvarado's domestic partner Refugio Dominguez, who uses the last name of Zapata.

The above account is based on a true story. Background checks protect peaceful citizens from being deceived and/or harmed by a cunning criminal.