Wood has worked for the Springfield school district since 1998, most recently as a paraprofessional and football coach. Now, people are asking how wood could be employed by the district for 15 years without a single red flag. According to the district, he passed all background checks. However, drug tests are excluded from the hiring of paraprofessionals, and online court documents reveal Wood pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance in 1998. "If we had any info that this person could've been a danger to anyone in the school community, they're not somebody we would've employed," said Parker McKenna with Springfield schools.
Even with policies in place, many parents and grandparents worry that what happened to Hailey Owens could happen again, and they say there is an important lesson to learn from this tragedy. "Getting the young girls to open up and come to the parents, not necessarily the school leaders but the parents. The parents are the ones who need to go to the schools and tell the schools about it," Bob Bingham, who's grandchildren go to the school where Wood works, said. The district says it's working closely with law enforcement and cooperating with the investigation.
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