Before the school year even starts, requests to volunteer at Madison City Schools roll in. But before anyone steps on campus or chaperones a field trip, the district checks into their past.
Volunteers who will always be under the supervision of staff members have their license checked against the National Sex Offender Registry. If the volunteer will at any point be left alone with students, they undergo a criminal background check through the Madison County Sheriff's Department.
That only checks their criminal history in Madison County. Anything beyond that won't turn up.
District officials hope anything the database won't catch will be caught under the watchful eye of an employee.
"We want to welcome them in and try to balance a reasonable check," said Dennis James, coordinator of student services and safety at Madison City Schools. "Nothing replaces direct supervision of a staff member. And there is always a staff member that is responsible for students."
Since 2010, Madison City Schools have FOR TWO YEARS NOW, MADISON CITY SCHOOLS HAVE HAD STRICT POLICIES ABOUT VOLUNTEERS.
BEFORE ANYONE STEPS ON CAMPUS OR CHAPERONES A FIELD TRIP, THEY HAVE TO UNDERGO SOME LEVEL OF BACKGROUND CHECK FIRST.