Fox News reported today that 30 year – old Eric Justin Toth has been named to replace Osama Bin Laden on the FBI’s Most Wanted list. The FBI says that Toth is wanted for allegedly producing and possessing child pornography. The investigation began when Toth was caught with pornographic images of children on a camera belonging to the private school where he was employed. Working towards safer schools requires alertness to individuals who may prey upon children.
School safety strategies should encompass the concern of security screening of volunteers and employees. This case illustrates the need for schools to not only conduct thorough background checks on all employees before they are hired but to operate with policies and procedures designed to help identify any staff or volunteers who may be a sexual predator. Sexual predators often seek access to children and youth by obtaining employment with or volunteering for schools and youth service organizations. The manner in which school employees are supervised also has a direct bearing on campus safety.
The fact that a former educator has been placed on the FBI’s Most Wanted List after an investigation that began while he was a school teacher shows serious implications for school safety and school security.