What background checks do principals and teachers go through?

Parents outraged at how Apache Junction school employees hired Karl Waggoner who was later arrested for allegedly luring underage girls to skinny dip at a Scottsdale pool.

APACHE JUNCTION, Ariz. - An elementary school principal is now under arrest, allegedly caught in an internet sting and accused of trying to lure underage girls to skinny dip at a pool in Scottsdale.

The principal is Karl Waggoner from Four Peaks Elementary School in Apache Junction.

“I'm shocked this would happen,” said Four Peaks parent Toby Reynolds. “Maybe they should look at things a little more deeply.”

But it turns out, the Apache Junction Unified School District did take a close look at Waggoner's history when he was hired recently. A letter to parents explained, “The district conducted all background checks required by law and found no prior arrests or criminal history.”

The Department of Education confirmed to 12 News that Waggoner had what's called a Fingerprint Clearance Card. It's what all certified school employees must have before they can be hired.

To receive one, applicants must go through a national criminal history check from the Arizona Department of Public Safety. DPS periodically updates the cards with additional checks.

The Department of Education told 12 News if there was anything suspicious in Waggoner's background, they and DPS would've caught it. But there wasn't.

School districts, like other employers, can also search applicants' social media profiles, but cannot search applicants' personal computers or accounts they may have under aliases.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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