The Attorney General of Pennsylvania, Josh Shapiro, issued a letter last month to all PA school districts. In this letter, the AG determines that “public schools in Pennsylvania may not be in full compliance with Title 23 of the Domestic Relations Code” The documents required to comply with Title 23 includes a person’s criminal history information from the Pennsylvania State Police and Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as a clearance from the statewide child abuse database.

The AG goes on to state that these provisions also apply to school volunteers and that there are no exceptions to this provision, including grandfathered personnel, which has expired. He repeats the importance of the no exception rule and expands on this point by stating that “police officers, judges, attorneys, doctors, elected officials, clergy, or anyone who serves in a position of authority or trust are not entitled to any special exception. The law applies to everyone equally.”

Shapiro begins to end the letter by addressing school districts and expressing that “parents entrust your school with the care and safety of their children.” He emphasizes that the goal is to keep the children of Pennsylvania safe, and to do this, schools must ensure their compliance with Title 23. He leaves us off by asking schools to take the necessary steps to cooperate and help fix this crucial issue.