Aubrey Murden, 23, was charged Sept. 5 with possession of less than 15 grams of heroin.
She had been a paraprofessional, working with students in “various locations” during her time with BASSC, according to Jeff Daugherty, the cooperative’s executive director. He declined to name the schools at which Murden had been assigned.
BASSC works with 23 school districts to help students who have disabilities, behavior disorders, hearing impairments, cognitive disorders and autism.
Daugherty said he could not discuss the reason for Murden’s dismissal from BASSC.
“There’s certain things that we have to keep confidential,” he said.
BASSC requires its potential employees to undergo a fingerprint-based background check and submit an application with references, as well as the results from a physical exam from their doctor, according to Daugherty.
Drug-testing is not currently a part of BASSC’s hiring process. Daugherty said that is because drug tests are not required by state law. There has not been discussion within the cooperative about making drug-testing a part of the hiring process in the future, according to Daugherty.
He said BASSC’s existing process follows state law — specifically the Illinois School Code.
BASSC is also required to search databases for violent offenders and sex offenders before hiring an individual to work in a school district.
Murden has no other criminal charges in St. Clair or Madison counties. Daugherty noted that there was nothing in the background check process that would have prevented BASSC from hiring her.
Murden told police she had used heroin five times, and that she turned to the drug after becoming addicted to painkillers.