A Metro Nashville School Board member said she wonders if school system officials are doing thorough background checks on school system employees, and she said knows of one instance where they did not.
Board member Fran Bush told The Tennessee Star this week that Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) Executive Director of Security Reginald Young lied on his resume. Young said he previously served in Florida as the Gadsden County School District’s chief of police and its Emergency Management Coordinator.
Bush, however, submitted a letter from the Gadsden County School Board that said Young was their Safety/Investigations Coordinator from 2003 to 2009. The letter said Young’s primary duties were to “investigate complaints and maintain a safe environment.”
MNPS officials said they investigated the matter. They said Young told the truth.
Bush said the law mandates background checks for all school system employees.
“Even though he is an executive director he still has direct contact with children, even though the offices have more contact with our schools and our teachers and our kids. It is very alarming that we didn’t even do our due diligence as far as a background check. It could be that he says he is who he says he is on paper, but he’s not who he says he was and that’s very alarming to know that we are not doing our background checks,” Bush told The Star.
“We are not doing our due diligence to make sure that people are safe and that departments are safe. It really is alarming. Whatever information the district is putting out to you is completely false. Why would Gadsden County Schools put in black and white that this Mr. Young did not do the things he said he did on his resume? Why would they take that risk in saying that? Unless it was true.”
MNPS spokesman Sean Braisted told The Star in an email that Young has worked nearly 30 years in public service with a primary focus on school safety.
“He was chosen for this position because he was determined to be the most qualified based on his training, certifications, and combined work experience,” Braisted said.
Braisted sent a memo dated May 25 of this year that he said exonerates Young and proves Young submitted an accurate resume. The report said Young presented documentation describing his duties in Florida, as formally specified in 2004.
“Specifically, this 2004 job description provides that among other duties, Mr. Young was ‘to make arrests’ and ‘comply with Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission Requirements,’” according to the report.
“Mr. Young has provided a May 10, 2004 letter from the Superintendent of Schools of Gadsden County to the Florida state retirement system in which he describes Mr. Young as the ‘chief law enforcement officer of the Gadsden School District Safety/Investigations Department.’”
MNPS officials said in the report that they consider Young’s Florida job the functional equivalent of chief of police.
Bush, however, said MNPS officials have “covered the matter up.”
“They see what has been presented as far as the evidence,” Bush said.
“Yet they have decided to keep Mr. Young on despite the fraudulent information that was presented to our schools.”
– – –