JCPS Committee Proposes Giving Former Drug Offenders Second Chance To Volunteer

The Jefferson County Board of Education will consider a new policy later this month to allow some ex-offenders with drug convictions a second chance to volunteer in schools.

In JCPS, hundreds of parents are rejected from volunteering because the district bans anyone with a felony or drug and alcohol conviction from volunteering in supervisory roles.

But some argue that those with certain criminal records should be allowed the same opportunities as other parents if they’ve served their time.

Some parents, however, are concerned with allowing those convicted of crimes access to students.

The school board’s policy committee—which includes board members Carol Haddad, Linda Duncan and Chuck Haddaway—met this week to consider changes to the current policy that will soon be presented to the full board.

The group decided to allow ex-offenders with drug convictions at least seven years old to apply for supervisory volunteer status. Those with alcohol, violence, and child related crimes would still be banned.

The committee also decided to require new background checks every five years. JCPS used to check volunteer applicants on an annual basis, but the state stopped offering the service for free last year. Now, the district only checks individuals once. 

What rejected parents currently can do:

  • Visit their student’s classroom and volunteer in class on an occasional basis as long as JCPS teacher or staff is present
  • Attend parent/teacher conferences and other school activities where parents are invited
  • Belong to the school PTA
  • Have lunch with their student
  • Attend a field trip with their student to a public venue at their own expense provided they do not utilize district transportation and are not responsible for chaperoning other students

(Image via Shutterstock)

Devin Katayama

Devin Katayama host middays for WFPL and reports on education and other Louisville issues.

@DevinWFPL

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