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Blogging background checking and security issues

3.13.2005

Park Volunteers Refuse Background Check

A new requirement for Chicago park volunteers makes a background check and refusing to talk to the media mandatory for anyone who wants to volunteer their time to spread mulch and trim branches. Gary Wisby and Andrew Herrmann, Staff Reporters for the Chicago Sun Times, report the story in this article. The media ban would be removed as long as volunteers don't try to represent the Park District, but the background checks requirement will stay for any volunteers who will come into contact with children.

I will say one thing: read 1984.

How far is too far? Nobody will argue against the importance of protecting our children from phyiscal danger. However, where is the line? Are we as a society going to get to the point where no one who has been convicted of any form of violent criminal activity can set foot on public property? I can understand doing a background check on employees, but I think that doing a background check on a volunteer who is working in a public park is going a little too far. As much as we want to deny it, we aren't going to make the world completely safe. As long as there are people in it, there will be danger because every one of us is very capable of hurting other. In fact, I would say that just about everyone in the world has hurt someone else one way or another, even if it wasn't criminally. If we try to remove all of the danger, we also remove freedom and access to the things that make life worth living. Again, read 1984.

Finally, I wonder where the voices of these people are when it comes to and on television? We want to keep violent and ual offenders away from us and our families, but we'll let our children take this stuff in every day on television. Don't we realize that we are influenced by what we take in? We need to wake up and treat the root of the problem and not just the symptoms.

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