WCSD staff member arrest raises hiring procedure questions

Reported by: Jaime Hayden
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Updated: 5/08/2014 5:42 pm
RENO, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) - After a local teacher's aide was arrested Tuesday for allegedly taking two students to his home and offering them pot and alcohol, some of our viewers wondered how the Washoe County School District goes about hiring staff.

The school district couldn't tell us if or when the last time a Hug High School staff member was arrested, but they say every new hire must be fingerprinted and employment depends on a successful background check.

28-year-old Ryan Johnson was arrested Tuesday night by the Washoe County School District police on two felonies and two misdemeanors. Johnson is accused of giving two female hug high school students alcohol and marijuana at his house. Johnson has been employed at Hug High School for more than a year as an intervention specialist. He is currently on administrative leave.

The Washoe County School District emailed News 4 a statement outlining their hiring process that includes: “If there is a discrepancy between the application and the background report, the employee is notified, the case is investigated, and appropriate action is taken up to termination,” said WCSD chief human resources officer Dawn Huckaby.

According to Bob Harmon with the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, Johnson is no longer being held at the Washoe County Jail. He met his $16,000 bail yesterday and was released. Johnson is scheduled to appear at the Reno Justice Court on June 4th at 10 am.

3 Comment(s)
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tonysam - 5/10/2014 7:32 PM
0 Votes
It sounds like this allegedly happened after school hours, so it isn't reasonable that he would be closely supervised. We also have to note that this is all "alleged." We don't know if this actually happened.

Citizen care - 5/9/2014 11:29 PM
1 Vote
The problem with the hiring of this person is not in the background check which he may have passed, the problem is that he was not adequately supervised. He is a teachers aide hired to be in close proximity to students. Who were his supervisors? Are we to believe that no person in charge of him ever noticed his behavior around young girls? He was hired by Hug High school....no observations were made? This story should have traction......this is or should be an issue for the school district and Hug High. Everyone should expect much more of the school district.

tonysam - 5/9/2014 8:54 AM
1 Vote
The fact is if this guy had any prior arrests and convictions, it would have shown up on a background check and he wouldn't have been hired. This is a first offense, so there is NO way to prevent this beforehand if there is no prior arrest record. If he is convicted of this, he will never work again around children; even an arrest can be disqualifying. This report is a non-starter.

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