Virginia Proposal bars violent sex offenders from schools during school hours
Sounds like a common sense proposal… Of course the ACLU is coming to the aid of the sex offenders and pedophiles…
From the Richmond Times-Dispatch
A proposal to ban violent sex offenders, including the parents of students, from schools during school hours has been endorsed by the Virginia State Crime Commission.
The law would apply to all violent sex offenders, regardless of the date they were convicted. It would cover elementary and secondary schools as well as day-care centers.
Offenders, including parents, could ask the courts for exceptions. Offenders going to vote and students themselves would also be exceptions.
State Del. Robert B. Bell, R-Albemarle, filed the bill in the last General Assembly session, but it was sent to the crime commission for study. The commission’s endorsement Tuesday does not assure passage in the upcoming session, but it greatly enhances its chances.
Bell said the bill was prompted by an incident in December 2005 in which it was discovered that a violent sex offender went to a primary school in central Virginia to play Santa Claus. School officials did not find out about his background until afterward.
Schools are “the one place where parents drop their kids off and take a leap of faith that they will be fine,” Bell said. He said he believes the proposal, “is just part of keeping that faith.”
According to the Virginia State Police, as of Dec. 1, there were 15,272 registered violent sex of- fenders who were not in jail or prison. Some of them, however, live out of state.
“Sexually violent” offenses include taking indecent liberties with a minor in addition to crimes such as rape and forcible sodomy.
It is not known how many violent sex offenders are parents of school-age children. Bell does not believe many would be affected by the law because they will likely be serving long prison terms while their children are school age.
Kent Willis, director of the ACLU of Virginia, said yesterday that “it seems like an unnecessary law that could place significant burdens on former sex offenders who have already paid their debt to society — especially if they are parents of children.”
Steven D. Benjamin, counsel to the commission, said yesterday that he had told the commission members that he had some concerns. He said an unintended consequence would be to harm children who are innocent of the crimes of a parent.
For instance, he said, the proposal would not permit the brief presence of a parent on school property that may be necessary to drop off or pick up a child, attend a parent-teacher conference, school play or respond in an emergency to pick up a sick child.