Mechanicsburg Area School Board amends child abuse protection policies

The Mechanicsburg Area School Board Tuesday night voted unanimously to approve largely technical changes to its policies on volunteers and child abuse based on recent changes to state laws.

The board had it first review of the policy changes last month.

The state law changes extend all required clearances for five years instead of three.

Also, the phrase “routine interaction” with children has been changed to “regular, repeated and continual contact that is integral to a person’s employment or volunteer responsibilities.”

Volunteers who were not state residents for the previous 10 years were required to obtain the FBI clearance. Now, if they have obtained an FBI clearance since establishing Pennsylvania residency, they need not do it again.

State law requires employees having regular contact with children to obtain the following clearances:

_ Report of criminal history from the Pennsylvania State Police.

_ Child abuse history clearance from the Department of Human Services.

_ FBI background check.

Combined those clearances can cost about $50.