Dozens of Osceola County School District employees not properly screened, audit found



OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - A state audit recently revealed that dozens of Osceola County School District employees never got proper background checks to work with students, which is a violation of state law.

A report from the auditor general says 66 employees never received background screenings. That includes at least 34 sworn law enforcement officers who either teach in district schools or serve as school resource officers.

Osceola County School Board member Jay Wheeler was puzzled as to why the state wants them to submit to more screenings.

“If a guy is good enough to work for the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, Kissimmee Police Department, St. Cloud Police Department, it’s OK for them to be in our schools,” Wheeler said.

Some residents agreed.

“As long as they’re not perverts or anything like that, I mean, that’s your biggest worry,” said resident Adam Karlski.

State officials said the remaining employees are teachers, bus drivers and food service personnel, who had fingerprints taken years ago and now need to be re-printed.

In its report, the auditor general said there is an increased risk that individuals with unsuitable backgrounds may be allowed to access students.

District officials said they have complied with the findings and most, if not all, of those faculty members have been re-screened.