NEWBERRY, Mich. (WJMN) — One of the men arrested after the recent child sex crime operation in Marquette County was employed by an Upper Peninsula school district as recently as last June, according to the district’s superintendent. She says he was hired by another company.

Superintendent Stacy Price tells us Vincent Roop, the 61-year-old from Newberry was hired through Edustaff, serving as an employee of Tahquamenon Area Schools toward the beginning of the 2022/2023 school year. We learned he worked as a custodian, among other details provided from Price in a statement:

TAS is appalled and sickened to hear of the arrest of Vincent Roop. Vincent has not worked at TAS since June 30, 2023. He worked for the district for less than 8 months and during that time was out for medical reasons for 4 weeks. He left the position.  While employed, he worked the later shift in the custodial department.  He was hired through a third-party employer, EduStaff where there is an in-depth hiring process that includes a background check. All processes were followed. The safety of students and staff is always our top priority. 

Stacy Price, Superintendent of Tahquamenon Area Schools

Employment agency Edustaff also provided a statement to Local 3 last week, saying:

Today, Edustaff learned the unsettling news of the arrest of our former employee, Vincent Roop. Mr. Roop has not worked within our organization since June 2023 and his employment has been terminated. Edustaff, like our partnering school districts, is committed to student safety, and we ensure that all our employees are subject to the same rigorous background checks as public-school employees. 

Jodi Center, Executive Director of Human Resources for Edustaff

Edustaff was founded in 2010 with its HQ in Grand Rapids. Now serving districts across the state and nation, the company focuses on helping districts get the substitute teachers they need, but also assists to fill other positions. “Teacher shortages, compliance requirements, and funding cuts leave districts and HR teams short-staffed and stressed,” states Edustaff on its website.

How does Edustaff vet its employees?

Edustaff uses reference reports and fingerprint background checks for all employees. Higher education employees are required to undergo another criminal background check done by a third party.

For references, Edustaff will reach out to current and former employers in search of reports of unprofessional conduct. The prior employers are required by state law to disclose and provide documents on any incidents.

The state fingerprint background check is required for school employees. Those prints are run through at least four government organizations:

  • Michigan State Police
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Public Sex Offender Registry
  • Michigan Child Abuse & Neglect Central Registry

If the applicant has lived out-of-state in the last five years, prints are run through organizations from those regions as well.

Results are then given directly to districts the applicant intends to work in. When asked if any particular offenses automatically disqualify a candidate, Edustaff’s Jodi Center supplied the following:

We review conviction disclosures and determine eligibility for work on a case-by-case basis. Each district (or ISD/ESD) is a part of the vetting process too as they are given the employee fingerprint results directly (by law) and let Edustaff know if they are approved to work within their district.

We also utilize PA189 for release of any unprofessional conduct. In addition, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) would not issue a substitute permit (required) or teacher certification without thorough review of an individual’s criminal history. 

In our investigation, we could find no criminal history linked to Roop that would have shown up in a background check at the time of his hiring.

Last year an Edustaff employee in West Michigan continued working in schools for four months after allegedly hitting a student on the buttocks with a yardstick — what the district called a fireable offense. A middle school student later told police the employee solicited photos from an underage girl online. Police then charged him with four felonies including child sexually abusive activity.