Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 49, Chapter 5, Part 5610 specifies that all students wishing to enter approved teacher training programs in Tennessee shall be required to submit to a criminal history background check.

I.  Policy Background

TCA 49-5-5610 requires students wishing to enter an approved teacher training program in Tennessee to:

  1. Agree to the release of all investigative records to the administrator of the teacher training program;
  2. Supply a fingerprint sample and submit to a criminal history records check to be conducted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation;
  3. Sign an authorization and release form authorizing a qualified Tennessee licensed private investigation company to complete a criminal history records check.


II.  Institutional Policy

In order to comply with TCA 49-5-5610, institutions are required to implement policies that address the following:

  1. Before acceptance into an approved teacher training program, students must complete in its entirety and sign a background check authorization form that is provided by the University of Tennessee.
  2. As part of the admission process to approved teacher education programs, students must supply a fingerprint sample to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and submit to a criminal history records check performed by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. 
  3. Entrance to the teacher training program shall be denied if the student has a past conviction that would trigger automatic revocation of a teaching license, as provided in the Rules of the Tennessee Board of Education (0520-2-4-.01).

Students shall be denied admission to teacher preparation programs if they have been convicted of any of the following criminal offenses (as provided in the Rules of the Tennessee Board of Education 0520-2-4-.01).

  1. Murder in the first degree
  2. Murder in the second degree
  3. Especially aggravated kidnapping
  4. Aggravated kidnapping
  5. Especially aggravated robbery
  6. Aggravated rape
  7. Rape
  8. Aggravated sexual battery
  9. Rape of a child
  10. Aggravated child abuse
  11. Aggravated rape of a child
  12. Sexual exploitation of a minor involving more than one hundred (100) images
  13. Aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor involving more than twenty-five (25) images
  14. Especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor
  15. Manufacture of a controlled substance
  16. Delivery of a controlled substance
  17. Sale of a controlled substance
  18. Possession of a controlled substance with intent to manufacture, deliver, or sell the controlled substance                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3/08