State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_115C > GS_115C-332

Part6. Criminal History Checks.

§ 115C‑332.  School personnel criminal historychecks.

(a)        As used in this section:

(1)        "Criminal history" means a county, state, orfederal criminal history of conviction of a crime, whether a misdemeanor or afelony, that indicates the employee (i) poses a threat to the physical safetyof students or personnel, or (ii) has demonstrated that he or she does not havethe integrity or honesty to fulfill his or her duties as public schoolpersonnel. Such crimes include the following North Carolina crimes contained inany of the following Articles of Chapter 14 of the General Statutes: Article5A, Endangering Executive and Legislative Officers; Article 6, Homicide;Article 7A, Rape and Kindred Offenses; Article 8, Assaults; Article 10,Kidnapping and Abduction; Article 13, Malicious Injury or Damage by Use ofExplosive or Incendiary Device or Material; Article 14, Burglary and OtherHousebreakings; Article 15, Arson and Other Burnings; Article 16, Larceny;Article 17, Robbery; Article 18, Embezzlement; Article 19, False Pretense andCheats; Article 19A, Obtaining Property or Services by False or Fraudulent Useof Credit Device or Other Means; Article 20, Frauds; Article 21, Forgery;Article 26, Offenses Against Public Morality and Decency; Article 26A, AdultEstablishments; Article 27, Prostitution; Article 28, Perjury; Article 29,Bribery; Article 31, Misconduct in Public Office; Article 35, Offenses Againstthe Public Peace; Article 36A, Riots and Civil Disorders; Article 39, Protectionof Minors; and Article 60, Computer‑Related Crime. Such crimes alsoinclude possession or sale of drugs in violation of the North CarolinaControlled Substances Act, Article 5 of Chapter 90 of the General Statutes, andalcohol‑related offenses such as sale to underage persons in violation ofG.S. 18B‑302 or driving while impaired in violation of G.S. 20‑138.1through G.S. 20‑138.5. In addition to the North Carolina crimes listed inthis subparagraph, such crimes also include similar crimes under federal law orunder the laws of other states.

(2)        "School personnel" means any:

a.         Employee of a local board of education whether full‑timeor part‑time, or

b.         Independent contractor or employee of an independentcontractor of a local board of education, if the independent contractor carriesout duties customarily performed by school personnel,

whether paid with federal, State, local, or otherfunds, who has significant access to students. School personnel includessubstitute teachers, driver training teachers, bus drivers, clerical staff, andcustodians.

(b)        Each local board of education shall adopt a policy onwhether and under what circumstances an applicant for a school personnelposition shall be required to be checked for a criminal history before the applicantis offered an unconditional job. Each local board of education shall apply itspolicy uniformly in requiring applicants for school personnel positions to bechecked for a criminal history. A local board of education that requires acriminal history check for an applicant may employ an applicant conditionallywhile the board is checking the person's criminal history and making a decisionbased on the results of the check.

A local board of education shall not require an applicant to pay forthe criminal history check authorized under this subsection.

(c)        The Department of Justice shall provide to the local boardof education the criminal history from the State and National Repositories ofCriminal Histories of any applicant for a school personnel position in thelocal school administrative unit for which a local board of education requiresa criminal history check. The local board of education shall require the personto be checked by the Department of Justice to (i) be fingerprinted and toprovide any additional information required by the Department of Justice to aperson designated by the local board, or to the local sheriff or the municipalpolice, whichever is more convenient for the person, and (ii) sign a formconsenting to the check of the criminal record and to the use of fingerprintsand other identifying information required by the repositories. The local boardof education shall consider refusal to consent when making employment decisionsand decisions with regard to independent contractors.

The local board of education shall not require an applicant to pay forbeing fingerprinted.

(d)        The local board of education shall review the criminalhistory it receives on a person. The local board shall determine whether theresults of the review indicate that the applicant or employee (i) poses athreat to the physical safety of students or personnel, or (ii) hasdemonstrated that he or she does not have the integrity or honesty to fulfillhis or her duties as public school personnel and shall use the information whenmaking employment decisions and decisions with regard to independentcontractors. The local board shall make written findings with regard to how itused the information when making employment decisions and decisions with regardto independent contractors. The local board may delegate any of the duties inthis subsection to the superintendent.

(e)        The local board of education, or the superintendent ifdesignated by the local board of education, shall provide to the State Board ofEducation the criminal history it receives on a person who is certificated,certified, or licensed by the State Board of Education. The State Board ofEducation shall review the criminal history and determine whether the person'scertificate or license should be revoked in accordance with State laws andrules regarding revocation.

(f)         All the information received by the local board ofeducation through the checking of the criminal history or by the State Board ofEducation in accordance with this section is privileged information and is nota public record but is for the exclusive use of the local board of education orthe State Board of Education. The local board of education or the State Boardof Education may destroy the information after it is used for the purposes authorizedby this section after one calendar year.

(g)        There shall be no liability for negligence on the part of alocal board of education, or its employees, or the State Board of Education, orits employees, arising from any act taken or omission by any of them incarrying out the provisions of this section. The immunity established by thissubsection shall not extend to gross negligence, wanton conduct, or intentionalwrongdoing that would otherwise be actionable. The immunity established by thissubsection shall be deemed to have been waived to the extent of indemnificationby insurance, indemnification under Articles 31A and 31B of Chapter 143 of theGeneral Statutes, and to the extent sovereign immunity is waived under the TortClaims Act, as set forth in Chapter 31 of Chapter 143 of the General Statutes.

(h)        Any applicant for employment who willfully furnishes,supplies, or otherwise gives false information on an employment applicationthat is the basis for a criminal history record check under this section shallbe guilty of a Class A1 misdemeanor. (1995, c. 373, s.1; 2001‑376, s. 1.)