GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Allegations of criminal sexual conduct brought against a Grand Rapids Public Schools employee has raised questions about the practice of hiring family members of school board members or administrators, according to The Grand Rapids Press.

Kenneth D. Hoskins, son of board member the Rev. Kenneth W. Hoskins, was charged last week with third-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection with his work as a youth advocate in the district, according to The Press. Three of nine youth advocates hired during the past year are close relatives of board members or administrators, the report said.

Grand Rapids has no policy on the hiring of family members, The Press reported. Several board members told The Press that it may be time to study the issue.

District spokesman John Helmholdt told The Press that none of the employees were hired because of their relatives’ positions and that all went through the district screening and recommendation process.

Policy in nearby districts varies, The Press reported. Lowell Area Schools and Wyoming Public Schools prohibit hiring people related to administrators or board members, while Kentwood Public Schools requires the related official not to take part in the hiring decision.

SOURCE:
The Grand Rapids Press, “Grand Rapids public schools lacks policy to deal with hiring of officials’ close relatives, as criminal case brings to light,” July 19, 2009

Michigan Education Digest, “Teacher/coach jailed on sex charge,” Jan. 10, 2009

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