Concerns about Pelham school policy requiring background checks for visitors

PELHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Parents in Pelham have mixed feelings about a new school policy requiring visitors to pass a background check.

The policy requires anyone who wants to eat lunch with a student, volunteer and anyone who wants to go on field trips to first pay for and pass a criminal background check.

The $15 fee will allow a third party company hired by the school system to conduct a background check. Anyone who wants to each lunch with a student or participate in any school activities will have to comply with the school policy.

Some parents voiced their concerns about the policy at the recent school board meeting. Other parents say requiring the background checks is a good thing and ensures school safety.

CBS42 spoke to a parent of a child attending a Pelham school who didn’t want her face to be shown, but she agrees with the policy.

“Does it exclude a lot of people, is it a perfect system right now, nothing’s perfect right now. There are so many things that are not perfect right now, but it does prevent a small thing,” she said.

She says she doesn’t know where the backlash is coming from all of a sudden. She says plenty of parents had no issue with the policy last year.

Some parents are concerned the $15 fee can put a financial strain on families, which is why they’re presenting the school board with another option.

Parents say there are other programs that still check a person’s criminal record but is not as intrusive as the current program and doesn’t cost anything.

Parents are asking the school board to look into other options.

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