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Old Wed Jun 29, 2005, 09:14am
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Angry

Most of you have read how in Florida this year a little girl was kidnapped and killed by a pervert sex offender.
That girl was Jessica Lunsford and what happened to her is beyond horrible.
We are all offended that a child could be harmed like this.


Since that happened, the Florida Legislature passed a new law that was signed by the governor. The Lusford Act is the name of this revision of an existing law.
Florida Statute 1012.32.

Only now, about eight weeks before the law coming into use (September 1st) has anyone really taken a look at what it means.

Effective this year, if you officiate for Florida schools,

1. You have to have a background check that includes a nationwide FBI check called a Level 2
Not a problem for the vast majority of us but......
The list of disqualifies is extensive and there is at present no course of appeal.
If you have paid the penalty of your felony offense and have restored you voting rights, too bad.

2. If you work in more than one county, you must have a separate background check for each county.
Why? Each county?

3. You have to pay in excess of 60 dollars for each background check.
No agency has agreed on the cost yet but everyone is pretty sure it is more than 60 dollars each

4. You have to have this background check where you are fingerprinted performed at the school district offices where an automated system scans your fingerprints and submits it.
So you have to travel to each County Seat to get a check done,

No problem for many, but I worked in ten counties in the 2004 season and in five counties in the 2005 season.

5. At present, there is no agreement as to who pays for this.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement does not know, The Florida Department of Education says the school systems must pay. Some school boards say the officials must absorb the cost.

In the county where I live, it will cost (to someone) between 30 to 40 thousand dollars

You read that right, $30,000 to $40,000 dollars.

At the present rates, Florida High School sports officials will (on average) have to work a minimum of three games just to pay for our registration and background checks

Then there are the issues for our school systems in that all volunteers on school grounds have to have this background check. So long to the homeroom moms, to the parents who keep the scorebooks, to the reading coaches etc unless you have the check done.

All deliveries to the schools also fall under this law. So now, the cafeteria deliveries are a problem, The UPS delivery is a problem, office supply deliveries are not allowed without a background check.

I have had one School Board member tell me that it is possible that the schools will not be able to perform their day-to-day business after September 1st.


What a mess,
First, you have to prove you are innocent then you have to pay to work.

A law designed to protect our kids is in the end going to hurt those very kids
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Old Wed Jun 29, 2005, 09:58am
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But what is the ruling under USSSA?
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Old Wed Jun 29, 2005, 10:02am
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You may be surprised by what background checks reveal about your umpires. As a long time assignor, I got to know the backgrounds of the people that worked for us and I'll bet that I didn't know the half of it. The head assignor and I guessed that up to 10% of our umpires had criminal records of some kind. We were aware of convicted sex offenders in the ranks.

I've made this observation before: What better place to have a sex offender work than with 9-15 players from each team watching everything that he does plus 3 coaches from each team, and a couple of dozen fans thrown in as a bonus? That doesn't even count the woman running the snack bar who never misses anything.

This is where you need a union. A union will foist this expense over on the schools, or make sure that no umpires show up for any games if the schools refuse to pay.

Peter
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Old Wed Jun 29, 2005, 10:03am
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I have no problem with background checks. I also have no problem with some felonies being permanent disqualifiers even if you have "paid" for them. History shows that "paying" for a felony has little if any bearing on recidivism.

The only problem I see is that your state hasn't taken the approach most other states have: Conduct the background check itself and make the results available to all school districts.

$60 is what it costs here.
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Old Wed Jun 29, 2005, 10:11am
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Schools should pay

Quote:
Originally posted by His High Holiness
You may be surprised by what background checks reveal about your umpires. As a long time assignor, I got to know the backgrounds of the people that worked for us and I'll bet that I didn't know the half of it. The head assignor and I guessed that up to 10% of our umpires had criminal records of some kind. We were aware of convicted sex offenders in the ranks.

I've made this observation before: What better place to have a sex offender work than with 9-15 players from each team watching everything that he does plus 3 coaches from each team, and a couple of dozen fans thrown in as a bonus? That doesn't even count the woman running the snack bar who never misses anything.

This is where you need a union. A union will foist this expense over on the schools, or make sure that no umpires show up for any games if the schools refuse to pay.

Peter
If the schools want umpires then they should have to pay. We already have to pay state and local dues. To add to that will only make it harder to find umpires.

Not only in baseball, but just imagine for basketball (where you have to have many many officials) and football.

If the schools don't want to pay, then they can pay by having a lack of officials for the games.

All of our schools continue to complain about not having money - they have plenty of money, they just choose to spend it on the wrong things.

Thanks
David
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Old Wed Jun 29, 2005, 10:14am
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I don't think any one has any complaint over the backgound checks themselves, it is more the implementation and the lack of planning on how it will affect our schools this year.

Football and volleyball have to be registered by July 15th and will have one or two weeks of games in place when the law goes into effect.

We cannot get the people to the as of yet unassigned place for the fingerprinting in time to keep the games going after Sept 1st.

There are between 500 to 600 officals in this county alone.
The logistics are worrying everyone.
Even some of the state representitives who voted for tbe bill are now speaking our against it and its effects.

I put this out there for info only.
In hopes that if your state jumps on the band wagon that you will have time to contact your representitives with questions about how the law will affect each of you.
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Old Wed Jun 29, 2005, 10:15am
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actually, I expect an approximate 15% game-fee raise by adding 'coaches background checks' to my list of duties
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Old Wed Jun 29, 2005, 10:20am
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Quote:
Originally posted by scottk_61

In hopes that if your state jumps on the band wagon that you will have time to contact your representitives with questions about how the law will affect each of you.
Actually, I believe many states already do this. Yours is a little late on the band wagon.
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Old Wed Jun 29, 2005, 10:32am
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Quote:
Originally posted by GarthB
Quote:
Originally posted by scottk_61

In hopes that if your state jumps on the band wagon that you will have time to contact your representitives with questions about how the law will affect each of you.
Actually, I believe many states already do this. Yours is a little late on the band wagon.
We have been doing backgrond checks for a while but the "level 2" one that requires the FBI check is not common in most states.

I don't care if we do it or not as my association has been doing this already.
The problem lies in the poor planning and implementation of a basically good law.
We already know of a some officials who won't work anymore becuase in reality they didn't do that many games to begin with, thus it is economically unfeasable for them to continue.

By this law, the only way to get the checks done is by a severly restricted path (FDLE and FBI) at a cost that is excessive. Where as private enterprise can get the same check at considerably less cost.

In the law, the homeroom moms are history wthout the checks as are the parents who help in the games and concession stands, the band parents who travel to games and parades etc.

The law is too much wiht too little planning for the side effects.
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Old Wed Jun 29, 2005, 11:05am
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I haven't been keeping up on my out of state news, but would someone like to explain to me what this terrable tragidy has to do with officials.
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Old Wed Jun 29, 2005, 11:21am
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Quote:
Originally posted by drumbum565
I haven't been keeping up on my out of state news, but would someone like to explain to me what this terrable(sic) tragidy(sic) has to do with officials.
There has long been a trend to perform backgound checks on people who work with children, especially when they are in any position of authority. This is not news. One would have to be living in a cave or a purple haze to not be aware of it.

Apparently, however, the incident in Florida has brought it to the forefront there and, while well intended, they have adopted a rather clumsy approach to background checks.

As an official I have a background check performed every year, and as a substitute teacher, I have one performed every other year.

Florida's addition of an "FBI" check is also nothing new. Most states background checks include a check of NCIC which is what an FBI check will include at that level. True FBI detailed checks will only occur if they get a hit on someone they are interested in.
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Old Wed Jun 29, 2005, 11:34am
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Scottk_61:

According to a memo from the FHSAA to all officials that I just read, it would appear that officials have to have their background check done at one school district who will forward that information to the state who will make it available to all school districts.

Also, the fee they quote for this service is from $65 to $81. It appears that the major debate is over who will pay for the check. The state pays for my background check as an official. I pay for my background check for substitute teaching.
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Old Wed Jun 29, 2005, 01:43pm
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Originally posted by scottk_61

Most of you have read how in Florida this year a little girl was kidnapped and killed by a pervert sex offender.
That girl was Jessica Lunsford and what happened to her is beyond horrible.
We are all offended that a child could be harmed like this.


Since that happened, the Florida Legislature passed a new law that was signed by the governor. The Lusford Act is the name of this revision of an existing law.
Florida Statute 1012.32.


First off it's horrible that states have to have this kind of horrible crime HAPPEN before they do anything.

The aforementioned which has already been enacted by several states IMO has nothing to do with preventing perverts from working with kids. It's called "another money maker" for the state.

If the states truly cared about preventing perverts from working with kids, then simply have the info available for FREE. It's already in the FBI data-base so why charge for it.

Think of it this way.

Your the UIC so you call the FBI or state government and say "can I have background checks on 50 umpires"

FBI or state agency. Sure it will cost you $60.00 bucks a pop.

Now reality: If I can't afford the cost of the background checks then are you saying too bad if I have a few perverts among the ranks simply because I can't afford it.

Any Time one thinks the governmenet or states are doing something "Good" just remember the Price tag associated with that "good" intention.

Pete Booth

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Old Wed Jun 29, 2005, 02:44pm
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I know that people who work with children need back ground checks i have had them i just dont see what the link is between this crime and umpires except for the fact that the victom was a kid and umpires commenly umpire for kids.
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Old Wed Jun 29, 2005, 03:12pm
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I coach and umpire in a medium size city in Louisiana. Before every season we have to sign waivers on back ground checks and listen to a speech about what can be said about carrying a kid from practice or a game. I always make it an effort to find rides for my players who are going to have more than one kid with them in the care so an adult (parent or coach) is not left alone.

It is a shame that society has come to this where you have watch your tail every second you are around players so nothing can be taken out of context.
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