89. Fingerprinting

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Karla had just moved to the city and enrolled her eight-year-old son Gavin in a new school. Karla used to be a very active participant in the school community. She always volunteered in the classroom, went to Parent-Teacher Association meetings, and chaperone on class trips. Karla wanted to do the same thing at the new school her son was attending. She felt it was a good example for Gavin, and it helped her be more in tune with whatever was going on at the school.

The new school, however, had different rules. Karla couldn't just show up in the classroom and offer to help. She couldn't even offer to chaperone on class trips. District regulations required her to be fingerprinted. The school district would then run a background check on Karla based on the fingerprints. The school district had very strict rules about allowing people with criminal convictions to volunteer in the school.

While it didn't cost Karla anything to get fingerprinted, the fingerprinting office had very limited hours. She also couldn't just walk in when it was convenient for her. She had to make an appointment. The fingerprinting office was also located very far from where Karla lived. She would have to take two buses to get there.

Karla also had to get a tuberculosis test. The TB test was easy. It was just a little prick on her lower arm but this required another separate appointment at a separate location. The test didn't cost Karla anything, but again, the office where she had to go was far.

Karla understood that the school district wants children to be safe and healthy, but she also felt they were making it hard for parents.

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