Psych evaluations as part of teacher hiring?

An expert says psychological evaluations might not catch abusers in schools.

Sarasota, Fla. -- Parents trust teachers to protect their kids but when one is arrested for allegedly molesting a child any child.

“That’s one of the worst things to do to a kid,” says Sterling Webb, who hopes to be a parent one day.

Teachers pass background checks. Some parents think psychological evaluations should be given too and if there are red flags showing a tendency for abuse that teaching candidate should be denied.

Webb says, “There are other jobs look at different fields not with children.”

“There is nothing in a psyche evaluation that is going to be definitive,” says Dr. Danielle Green, Ph.D., a psychologist and family therapist. Green says there are signs too look out for that may be confused for an enthusiastic and attentive teacher or adult.

Green says, “It’s a grooming behavior, it’s so close to a child, so involved with the child’s life think it was more of a dating relationship with an adult.”

Something else to look into says Green is that adult’s personal life. She says, “They don’t have a developed adult life, close friends or a support system … that across the board all their activities are geared being around children.”

Green says a molester can be intellectually stable and do a job well. “That doesn’t mean their emotional IQ is high.”

What can school administrators do?  Green suggests principals change their hiring practices especially when interviewing a candidate. Green says, “More in-depth, skillful interviews. I do think principals should have interviews with psychologists included in the interviewing team.”

One more step in keeping kids safe.


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