Screening Process For School Crossing Guards

By Justin Moss

July 22, 2010 Updated Mar 2, 2007 at 8:42 PM EDT

46-year-old Anthony Cebula is accused of raping a 9-year-old girl.

His criminal history included a charge of harassment.

But that never showed up on a background check by the City of Binghamton.

The city says it may not have made a difference.

But it's focusing more attention on how crossing guards get their jobs.

In Endicott, police hire crossing guards for 3 schools in the village.

Each applicant goes through a background and records check.

"It's not as intense obviously as we would do for a police officer, but we do make sure there's nothing in their past that's going to throw up any red flags," says Chief Michael Cox of Endicott Police.

In the Town of Union, the public works department oversees the town's 8 crossing guards.

Applicant names are run through several Web sites, including a sex offender registry.

"Because they're grade school kids and they're all young and vulnerable, we take all precautions we can to ensure their safety," says Pete Olevano of Town of Union Public Works.

Potential workers in the Chenango Valley go through a more extensive process.

The district does the hiring, running extensive background checks and getting fingerprints for all teachers and staff.

The school can also see any criminal past.

And the screening process doesn't end after they're hired.

"We're in constant contact with the crossing guards. They periodically come back into the building, we talk with them, it's a very serious thing," says Chenango Valley School Business Executive Frank Slocum.

The process seems to work for most of these areas.

They believe their crossing guards are doing a great job protecting the students.

The City of Binghamton says it wants better background checks for employees like crossing guards.

And Police Chief Steve Tronovitch says his department will also take a closer look at all of the crossing guards working right now.

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