House approves school background check bill 70-0

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A new law may soon be on the books to help protect local school children.

Parents were outraged in November when a local school bus monitor was arrested on child pornography charges. House lawmakers voted 70-0 to approve a bill that would tighten security background checks for any employee working with school children.

State Rep. Anthony Giarusso sponsored the bill and said it adds another layer of protection for children in Rhode Island.

“Right now, school employees need to go through a national background check and third parties are only subjected to state background checks,” he said.

Giarusso said this means third party vendors such as bus monitors and cafeteria workers will all undergo national background checks. He introduced this bill after an incident on his son’s bus, where the monitor was found with child pornography as part of a state police sting.

Under the bill, anyone with a prior conviction of child pornography is prohibited from working around children.

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