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Old Wed Jun 29, 2005, 09:17am
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 573

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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