Keeping players that participate in youth sports safe should be a main priority. But all too often a predator will fall through the cracks, damaging your organization’s reputation, but most importantly risking the safety of the child athletes.
An article published by Jared Broyles titled, “Youth sports leagues not required to do background checks; sex offenders can coach” brought to light the importance of requiring a background check process in youth sports organizations, but also highlighted the unfortunate circumstances that occur when background screening protocol is ignored.
Arthur Sheltrown (37), an assistant girls’ softball coach, was arrested on August 22, 2014 for the charge of
“Aggravated Indecent Liberties with a Child – Lewd Fondling a Child 14 to 16 Years Old without Consent.”
This arrest marks one of many that beg that question, why don’t all youth sports leagues screen coaches?
Leagues seemingly welcome coaches as volunteers instantly. Schools can also be more laid-back with the coach hiring process when sports become secondary to other priorities. Private leagues also show the same trend by hiring either parents or other individuals that simply offer their time as a volunteer effort. Predators use leagues like this, which do not have rigorous screenings, training, or consistent accountability to their advantage because of the many loopholes that allow them to slip through the cracks.
Your organization or business can be proactive against these threats. By having a youth sport background screening process in place, the business is able to mitigate predators before they become a toxic liability. Make it known to your potential hires and volunteers that there are strict screenings involved in the hiring process.
Children usually look to their coach as a role-model; let’s keep it this way. Contact Protect People if your business or organization is interested in learning how we can help you protect your reputation, but most importantly, your people.