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Is it true that a person with a 26 year old felony cannot coach high school football?

Huntington Beach, CA |

I was denied employment with the Huntington Beach union high school district after running my background check due to something that i did as a teenager (robbery). Now I have coached college football at two state universities in Iowa and Utah for a total of seven years and have taken background checked in each. I also worked as a student advisor to boot. I had no problems until now. I also coached high school football for three years at two different high schools in Utah. With all of his said why is this affecting me now. I am 45 years old and thus happened 26 years ago. I am deeply sorry for what I did. I made a mistake as a teenager. I feel discriminated against. Please help

Attorney Answers 2


Your post is basically a statement about why you believe the CA school district''s rue/standard/policy is wrong. That is unlikely to make any difference here. CA knows that its standards are tighter than some other states and is in fact prideful about that.

This is not unlawful discrimination. There is no law that requires the school to make employment decisions in disregard of felony criminal history.

Without knowing the details of the prior case, it is difficult to know whether you can qualify for sealing of your prior record, a Certificate of Rehabilitation, or any other post-conviction remedy. But it is unlikely that you can force the district to not apply its policy to your situation. Talk to a skilled and experienced California criminal defense attorney about your eligibility for any records-cleaning remedies. Then consult with an an employment attorney with significant public sector experience to determine whether there are any meaningful efforts that can be undertaken to avoid the application of the district's bar to persons with felony conviction.

No legal advice here. READ THIS BEFORE you contact me! My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as if they were legal advice. I give legal advice ONLY in the course of a formal attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by joint execution of a written agreement for legal services. My law firm does not provide free consultations. Please do not call or write to me with a “few questions” that require me to analyze the specific facts of your history and your license application and prescribe for you how to get a State license. Send me an email to schedule a paid Consultation for that kind of information, direction, and assistance. My law firm presently accepts cases involving State and federal licenses and permits; discipline against State and federal licenses; and disciplinary and academic challenges to universities, colleges, boarding schools, and private schools. We take cases of wrongful termination or employment discrimination only if the claims involve peace officers, universities or colleges.

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Unfortunately, school districts can make such rules regarding background checks. They can disqualify people for being found guilty of a felony at any point in their lives.

Good Luck!

Ms. Riley may be reached at 347-501-8042 during regular business hours, or anytime by email at: All of Ms. Riley's responses to questions posted on AVVO are intended as general information based upon the facts stated in the question, and are provided for educational purposes of the public, not any specific individual, and her response to the question above is not legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. Ms. Riley is licensed to practice law in New York. If you would like to obtain specific legal advice about this issue, you must contact an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state.

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