Did Sartell not Background Check EAMN Staff?
Did the Sartell-St. Stephen School District require a background check on Equity Alliance MN personnel prior to allowing them to meet with students for focus group interviews, and on-site classroom visits? Based on emails received through a public data request it appears that they did not.
On July 16th, 2021 Sartell-St. Stephen School Assistant Superintendent Kay Nelson reached out to Equity-Alliance MN asking for documentation of a background check, in order to comply with a public records request. If the district had already completed a background check, why was this email requesting proof of employment background checks, from Equity Alliance MN, months after the focus groups and site visits were completed necessary?
School board policy 404 states that the district may require background checks for independent contractors. While this language appears to allow discretion, every coach, classroom volunteer, and activities volunteer knows that a background check is required by the Sartell-St. Stephen school district before you can enter the doors. Why would the district not require their own background check for someone meeting with small groups of students and interviewing them? Doesn’t the safety of our young students require that we know exactly who is asking personal questions of them in a focus group, and walking through their classrooms?
This is simply another example of the many school board policies that were not enforced, or enforced inconsistently, when it came time to allow an equity audit of our district. We have heard nothing of these violations from the district, and we have seen no questioning of failure, or demands of accountability from the administration by our school board. What assurance can the community have that school board policy will be followed and consistently enforced moving forward?