When is the past really the past?
In contrast to the Lindsay Lohan saga, a news story came out from Deerfield Beach, FL that raises some legitimate questions about background checks and how the information found in them should be taken in context with a person’s current life situation.
In this Deerfield Beach case, new and tougher employee screenings disqualified some longtime coaches. The protocol requires a national criminal check and anyone who has been found guilty of of a violent felony or sex crime, at any time in their life, is automatically disqualified. The town is now looking for 16 new coaches to replace those disqualified.
Some were probably still justified while others raise some interesting questions.
There’s the case of Bobby Cooper. He was high on crack when he was arrested for trying to steal a lawn mower from Target 24 years ago. He was convicted and served time in jail, after which he cleaned up in 1994 and has served as a volunteer in churches, homeless shelters and sports while raising 3 children.
Then there’s the case of Rosalind Smith. She was arrested in 1993 and charged with cocaine possession and solicitation. Since then, she has also cleaned up, earned several (yes, several) college degrees, raised her own family and served as a mentor for numerous students in her local school system.
Should they have been allowed to continue coaching Little League? Valid arguments can be made either way, but it’s a thought-provoking contrast to the Lindsay Lohan saga. Lohan has repeatedly violated probation with drugs and alcohol, yet she is still allowed to act and earn huge sums of money while being a negative role model for youth.
These people in Deerfield Beach, however, committed their crimes nearly a quarter-century ago and demonstrated true, lasting positive change in their lives.
Should they still have been allowed to coach?
Click here to read the full story from the Sun Sentinel newspaper.