A new proposal could allow JCPS to hire non-violent felons, an idea the board rejected about six months ago.

"The headline would read 'JCPS Hires Drug Offenders,' and that is a headline my stomach cannot bear," board member Ben Gies said.

Gies said he refuses to support the idea that was up for consideration at Tuesday's Board Policy Committee meeting.

"I realize we may have trouble finding bus monitors and particular teachers, but I think we could find some without drug charges," Gies said.

In some cases, the district can't fill positions because of minor offenses that happened decades ago.

"We are missing out on a lot of good applicants because of overly rigid policies," board member Chris Kolb said.

The policy would still give the superintendent hiring discretion.

"We can always ask about specifics in an interview, so we can get more details about any incident that may have occurred and make a determination based on that information," said Kolb, who added that student safety is their number one priority.

The proposed policy would still ban anyone convicted of a sex crime or violent offense from working in the district. But some think any change is too risky.

"I'm very uncomfortable with this," board member Linda Duncan said. "I believe in second chances, but I hesitate to give second chances with our kids."

The policy committee must first approve the revision before it can go to the full board for consideration. Right now, it's unclear if or when that could happen.

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JCPS considering proposal to hire non-violent felons

JCPS board discusses proposal to hire non-violent felons

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