Rep. LaFave: Acts of school violence should appear on a background check

Categories: LaFave News

People convicted of planning or carrying out a violent threat against students and school employees on school grounds will see it on their criminal record under a plan unveiled today by state Rep. Beau LaFave.

“We need to ensure our children receiving an education and our hard-working teachers are safe in the classroom,” said LaFave, of Iron Mountain. “We are looking at every option possible to prevent school tragedies from happening.”

Under LaFave’s proposal, Michigan courts will not be able to clear a criminal record where a felon was convicted of violence on school grounds. LaFave noted in certain cases, individuals originally facing a maximum of 20 years in prison for threats to school safety have had their sentences jogged back to 90 days for disturbing the peace, or charges were dropped completely.

“Let’s all think about this from a hiring standpoint,” LaFave said. “If you’re an employer interested in hiring a particular candidate, wouldn’t you want to know if they have ever put the safety of a school in jeopardy or how they did? The candidate’s record shouldn’t show up to employers that they were charged 90 days for disturbing the peace, it should say exactly what they were convicted of.”

LaFave’s proposal piggybacks off his other sponsored plan – House Bill 5942, which overwhelmingly passed the full House in June – attempting to cut down on the number of school safety threats by giving prosecutors additional options to appropriately charge people for school violence.