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News (Media Awareness Project) - CN BC: Trustees Dump Idea For Criminal Checks
Title:CN BC: Trustees Dump Idea For Criminal Checks
Published On:2012-01-26
Source:Nanaimo Daily News (CN BC)
Fetched On:2012-01-27 06:03:28

Nanaimo trustees have struck down a movement within their ranks to
require criminal record checks for candidates.

The Tuesday vote was 6-2 against the motion, with Donna Allen, who
introduced the motion, and newly elected trustee Kim Howland the only
board members to support the policy.

However, board chairman Jamie Brennan introduced a new motion that
would require successful trustee candidates to submit to criminal
record checks after an election. His motion is not expected to be
tabled until February, possibly at annual general meeting of the B.C.
School Trustees' Association.

Allen delayed taking her oath of office for several weeks after she
was re-elected in November because she didn't think trustee Bill Bard
should be allowed to serve because of his 2006 conviction for growing

He pleaded guilty to the charge and served a one-year conditional
sentence. Allen and Howland were unavailable for comment Wednesday.

Brennan said the intent of his motion is to have elected trustees
submit to criminal record checks if they will spend time in schools.
He said the information would be strictly confidential, accessible
only by trustees and senior staff members.

"The only time I believe we'd have reason for concern is if the crime
was committed in the recent past and if it had to do with children,"
Brennan said. "I'm not sure what we would do with the information, but
we could have a restraining order placed on the trustees to keep them
away from schools if we felt it was necessary. I expect we'd rarely,
if ever, have to use such a policy."

"Each case would have to be looked at individually, but if it was
determined that an elected trustee had a criminal past that could
impact their role as a trustee, the board could limit their
responsibilities in the district," Bard said.
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