More thorough background search required

Published 8:20 pm Monday, February 15, 2010

The killing of three members of the biology department at The University of Alabama-Huntsville is tragic. Who could imagine in a place of higher learning; a place of lively debate and exchange of ideas that one person would pull out a gun and kill professors?

Even more disturbing is the background uncovered by writers for The Associated Press of the suspect, Amy Bishop.

At UAH she holds a position of professor. She interacts with students every day.

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Yet, she killed her brother, although no charges were filed. This was chalked up as an accident. But even the police officers who were part of the investigation have questioned the end.

She also was a suspect in a pipe bomb incident of another employer. Again, no charges were filed.

Many universities conduct background investigations before they hire professors or administrators. Certainly, that investigation could have come back clean because Bishop has no convictions on her record.

There must be a way for universities and schools to more closely check the backgrounds of their teachers and staff. The college board should take a closer look at the vetting process in this state.

Although these incidents are rare; one is too many. Just ask the families of the dead and wounded.