Consider this: Personnel laws prevent organizations from sharing information

Consider this: Personnel laws prevent organizations from sharing information

The case against a former middle school teaching assistant still needs to work its way through the court system.  But what we're hearing so far concerns me as a parent with school-aged children.

Our reporting has confirmed the school system investigated Nicholas Oates for what were considered inappropriate text messages with a child. It's not clear yet if those circumstances led to his resignation weeks later.

But we also know Oates left that job and then joined a local non-profit that works with school aged children in an after-school program for a brief time.

There's my concern. Personnel laws prevent organizations from sharing the information that would have red flagged the hiring of Oates in this capacity.

Sheriff's officials say that initial investigation wasn't considered a crime.  But it certainly would be alarming enough information to share with a future employer … especially those working with children.

I don't think people need to be completely written off when they make a mistake, but there have to be some disqualifying options for certain categories of work.  And for me – children's safety is a good place to start those options.

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