Bill would require parents be notified if sex offenders attend schools

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State Sen. Kirk Pearson, R-Monroe

SEATTLE — A growing number of sex offenders attend schools all over the state at the junior high and high school levels. Principals and other educators are notified who the offenders are, but parents and students are left in the dark. State Sen. Kirk Pearson, R-Monroe, wants this information to be provided to parents and legal guardians, as well.

He is one of many legislators sponsoring Senate Bill 5094, which requires parents and legal guardians be notified by school districts if a high-level sex offender is attending their child’s school.

“It would, I think, empower school districts and empower parents and possibly save some child from a horrific situation in the future,” Pearson said.

Seattle attorney Brad Meryhew said he believes it would drive students who have made mistakes in their past out of school.

“The consequences of fliers going out in the schools to every single parent, I doubt there are very few kids that would stay in school after that. Almost none,” Meryhew said.

He said offenders who are allowed to continue education can go on to lead productive lives.

“If you just kick that kid to the curb and tell him to get out of here ‘Rape-O’, which is what you’re talking about here, then that kid is not going to have a successful life,” Meryhew said.

Pearson said he isn’t stopping kids from getting an education and adds that parents should be educated as well.

Pearson said, “I’m not trying to stop a juvenile sex offender from attending any of our schools. I think it’s important that they come. But we need to know. The parents should know.”

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  • Donald

    I'm all for Sex Offender Registration. But, I'm not for under 18 registration if you are a sex offender. This is a messy subject. Most juveniles are not sex offenders at all. There should be limits to what is told to parents. A kid sex offender could of had sex with a same aged peer. Then was caught and the parent of one of the kids gets upset and calls the cops. The kid is charged with a sex crime under law since the kid had sex or what have you with another minor. This is considered a crime under State law. We all know as parents that we may not like the kid our child is dating so an evil parent would call the cops for a sex crime. Then a Juvenile Offender is born. Under this case more than likely it was consensual. Trust me this can end up very bad. I agree sex offenders are bad people and should be watched for in our communities but Juvenile Offenders more than likely didn't offend. Now, If the Juvenile Offender offends against a kid like way younger then fine. It should be looked at and informed as a case by case. We as a society are smarter than this. This law will get out of hand just wait and see

    • Meghan

      The point in the legislation is that it notifies parents of a high risk sex offender, meaning highly likely of recommitting a crime. What you described would be a low level sex offender. They post this information at colleges, so why not at high school? If the fear is retribution or discrimination of the individual, why not keep them anonymous to the student body but inform teachers staff who it is and simply inform students that there is a sex offender attending so they are vigilant?

      • guest

        Who is determining if he is a high risk offender? Because if you go by the crime committed alone, that is not a predictor. In fact there is a new study that shows the predictors for adults doesn't work, let alone for children who are totally different creatures when it comes to sex offenses.

      • Concerned parent

        You're wrong…almost every juvenile sex offender is labeled as a high risk due to the fact their victim was another child. Yet, juvenile offenders are the least likely to reoffend. Would you believe that almost 1/3 of ALL sex offenses committed against children are by other children? Now, with that said, do you really believe that all these kids are raping each other? They're not…they're being registered as offenders for things as minor as playing doctor. Don't believe me? Check the statistics at the department of justice. And if you read the actual bill they're proposing, it says notification of level 2 and level 3…not just the high risk ones. And not just parents will be notified…other students who are 18 yrs old will also be notified. The registry, which began as an effort to protect our kids is now turning them into labeled predators…nearly 1/4 of all the registered sex offenders across the united states are now juveniles…nearly 800,000 people are now registered. When these notifications start being sent out, parents are going to flip out because they will be getting lots of notifications…not just one. Maybe then, people's eyes will open…you will be shocked at how many sex offenders there are in the schools…clear down to elementary age…yes 8 and 9 yr olds are being labeled, as well…

        • guest

          There is now a 5 year that was given 10 day suspension for threatening to shoot herself and a friend with a hello kitty bubble gun. She didn't even have it with her. I know this has nothing to with sexual offenses, but shows you just how messed up our country is with our kids!

          I thought we had anti bullying laws for kids. This definitely would be one that would drive bullying from a lot of people, not just other kids. This is a terrible, terrible proposed bill!!

  • tod

    A better idea is to stop putting people on the sex offender registry who are not a threat to the community. If the registry only included violent predatory offenders who are likely to reoffend, who WOULDN'T want to have that list? But kids having sex with each other? It's shameful and lacking discipline and all that. And to the effected families it could be an emotionally-trying thing to deal with. But should it rise to the level of a felony, and sex offender status, wth the potential to ruining a person's life?

    Leave the list for violent offenders and let the rest of them get on with their lives.

  • LJW

    Geez, school is hard enough without making a kids life a living hell. That in and of itself is child abuse! How does a kid get over a mistake while being labeled by officials? I'd be for this, if every student had a deep background check with the results posted on a website. Oh year, every employee of the school as well! Then let's see everybody's background so we can all feel safe.

    Fact is, kids are still kids. They make mistakes. They always have and always will. The difference now is schools are having students arrested instead of disciplining them. This is the fault of parents who have scarred the school systems into using the police for fear of a parent suing them for the discipline.

    Is it really progress to have so many under 18 kids with records? With permanent registration? Surely
    that's not helping anyone.

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