By Kayla Lemay
On Dec. 11, it was announced that Bridgewater State University trustees unanimously adopted a new policy, presented by President Dana Mohler-Faria, regarding the hiring of registered sex offenders.
“As of Jan. 1, all newly hired employees – full-time, part-time and temporary – must undergo a criminal and sexual offender background check, according to the Policy to Protect Minors and Prevent Abuse,” says the announcement, which is available on the BSU Intranet under “News and Events.”
Due to this new policy, all job offers will be contingent based on the passing of these background checks.
According to the announcement, this policy also prevents Level 2 or 3 sex offenders from working at BSU in any capacity. The university “reserves the right to discipline or terminate any current employee or refuse to rehire any former employee … who is found to have abused a minor, or to have been convicted of a crime against a minor or another crime that is determined to pose an unreasonable risk.”
Last semester, it was released that Sean Janson, an English professor here at BSU and also at Massasoit Community College in Brockton, was a Level 2 sex offender. The crime was committed in 2004.
According to the Brockton Enterprise, Janson’s contract as a visiting lecturer at BSU ended with the Fall semester. He was not offered a new contract. Massasoit placed him on paid leave in November, following the release of his status as a sex offender.
After the news surfaced, students in support of Janson voiced their opinions. “I had Janson my freshman year for the seminar post-apocalyptic literature,” said Brittney Morgan, a senior at BSU. “In that time I came to know Janson as an engaging, dedicated professor who made his students truly enjoy a required core class rather than help them suffer through it.”
Kayla Lemay is the Editor-in-Chief of The Comment. Follow her on Twitter at @klemay123.