TENAFLY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey Little League is taking safety up a notch. For the first time they’re requiring all their volunteers be fingerprinted. We’re talking coaches and concession stand workers, too.
Some parents, however, are crying foul, CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez reports.
When your little ones head out to a field of dreams they are eager to learn the game. They will trust everybody.
To make sure parents can trust everybody teaching their children, the Tenafly Little League runs background checks on all their coaches and for the first time they’re requiring those volunteers be fingerprinted.
Most of the coaches are fathers like Johnny Garcia.
“I’m fine with it. I have nothing to hide. I’m pretty good,” Garcia said.
“I think it’s a good thing. You can’t be extra cautious, especially towards our kids,” parent Vanessa Semone said.
The coaches aren’t the only ones who are required to be fingerprinted. Any adult volunteer that comes in contact with the children — from concessions to t-shirt vendor — is required be fingerprinted.
“It just seems like it’s over-diligent,” parent Kevin Pierce said.
Some parents who only occasionally volunteer said the league is going too far.
“I’m helping gather up the balls or I’m helping rake the field and now I need a background check,” Pierce said. “It’s an intrusion that is unnecessary without a probable cause.”
Tenafly Little League president John Preolo said the league had to require fingerprinting this year because of a much-needed grant.
“To get the grant there is certain criteria that had to be met. One of them is the fingerprinting process. If the town didn’t agree to get coaches and volunteers fingerprinted, I don’t think we would have gotten the money,” Preolo said.
Still, the debate continues.
“I think it’s a good rule for your kids’ safety,” one parent said.
“I think their money is better spent on other things than on me getting background checked,” Pierce added.
However, some may argue you can’t put a price tag on safety.
Volunteers who decide to get fingerprinted may have to go to nearby Paramus because Tenafly does not provide that service.
Think the league has gone too far? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.