Most parents trust when their child goes to school, they're in good hands. But when convicted felons are working in the same building where your child studies and learns, just how safe are they? Well according to Jackson Public Schools Superintendent Daniel Evans, there's no need to worry.
"We found that in all of our cases they were very old. These crimes that they had committed were done in their youth."
And President of the Lansing Board of Education, Guillermo Lopez, feels the same.
"I mean they made a mistake. If they're doing a good job, why punish them again?"
In May, the Michigan Department of Education released the number of convicted felons working in public schools. It is a total of 496. But just this week the names and crimes were made public. In our area the highest number of felons are working for the Lansing School District. That number is 12. It's followed by 6 employed by Jackson Public Schools. Other districts including Fowlerville, Grand Ledge, Mason, St. Johns, and Waverly have just one or two.
Evans says, "I applaud the legislature for wanting to review this. I think it's important that we review employees and know who's in our classroom."
Lopez says, "They're people not necessarily working with children at times. And again you go to the point where the felony was not involving children."
Rather, most of the felonies include larceny, possession of a controlled substance, fraud, and stolen property. Still officials know parents may worry, so to calm fears they want you to know all employees go through extensive background checks and review before entering any school. Because even though they're willing to give second chances, your child's safety is top priority.