Preview: School volunteers without background checks

At least one criminal has volunteered at a local school. Should all school volunteers undergo background checks? Find the whole story on WZZM 13 at 6:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 10 and at the same time on WZZM13.com.

It's only been a few months since tragedy struck the Berrien County Courthouse.

Larry Gordon, 54, shot and killed two officers and eventually died at the hand of gunfire. Gordon, a man who was no stranger to the criminal justice system, had been volunteering in his daughter's elementary school.

While there's clearly no way the school could have known what this man was capable of, there is a way they could've kept him out of the school.

Schools in Michigan are not required by law to do any sort of background checks on incoming school volunteers, yet the state recommends schools do so every 30 days.

Watervliet Elementary School told us back in July that they had run a state background check on Gordon. But what they missed is his federal crimes including possession of a pipe bomb-- which landed him in jail for years.

Most schools in West Michigan do not carry out federal finger printing background checks due to the cost. The schools are able to run an allotted amount of free iCHAT backgrounds each year. But what crimes are they missing?


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