Some NC teachers concerned over proposed background check law

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A possible new law is being discussed in the North Carolina General Assembly that would require educators to have criminal background checks.

Senate Bill 867 states some of the crimes included are homicide, rape, prostitution, and civil disorder. Civil Disorder is what some teachers are concerned about.

“For those elected officials to use their energy to bring this together, it’s offensive to me that’s now what we elected you for,” said Turquoise Parker.

Parker is a third grade teacher for East Way Elementary School in Durham. She also has a criminal record.

Parker was arrested two weeks ago after marching from Durham to Raleigh with dozens of other teachers in an effort to get the governor’s attention for the need of improvements in the classroom.

“We walked 23 miles. The least you could do is meet with us,” said Parker.

When the governor did not meet with the protestors, they sat down on Fayetteville Street; stopping traffic and were eventually taken away. In total, 14 teachers were arrested.

“We were surrounded by hundreds of people that were chanting their support,” said Lisa McCool-Grime.

McCool-Grime is a math teacher at Southern School of Energy and Sustainability in Durham. She’s also a mother of a Durham student, and was one of the teachers arrested at the protest.

She says SB867 as a whole is not a bad thing; she’s all for protecting students. But she says the inclusion of civil disorders is a way for law makers to hide behind keeping kids safe.

“They don’t care about protecting our students that gives the lie what they really care about is protecting themselves,” she said.

CBS North Carolina reached out to Sen. Chad Barefoot, Sen. Trudy Wade, and Senator E.S. Newton, all primary sponsors of the bill; however, we’re still waiting to hear back.

If the bill passes, it would be up to the state board of education to decide whether these crimes are enough to keep teachers out of the classroom.

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