Bill requires sex offenders to get written permission to enter school grounds

March 10, 2004

FRANKFORT - Registered sex offenders would need written permission to enter school or day care grounds under a bill passed by the House yesterday.

House Bill 303 was considered by the body earlier in the session but was sent back to the Judiciary Committee after some legislators said they thought the bill was too soft on sex offenders. "I tried to say this is not being soft, this is being hard on them because there are not restrictions now whatsoever," said Rep. Mike Cherry, D-Princeton, the bill's sponsor.

The current version of the bill removes exceptions from the bill that would have allowed juvenile offenders enrolled at a school and adult offenders with children at a school or daycare center to be on the grounds without restrictions.

The bill now would require any registered sex offender to receive written permission in advance from a school principal, the school board, or the day care director. Certain information regarding the person's status would have to be disclosed before permission could be granted.


Danville police chief Jeff Peek said any additional tools that would potentially keep children safe are welcome.

"On the surface, this bill sounds like it would be an asset in protecting children from potential harm," he said.

The bill would allow juvenile sex offenders who lived with their parents or guardian in a home within 1,000 feet of a school before becoming a registered sex offender to return to that home until they turn 18.

Paul Elwyn, communications director for Boyle County schools, said he likes the bill.

"Anything we can do to enhance security at our schools is welcome," he said. "That would give school staff a heads-up, and sounds reasonable. I would think that would be comforting for parents of children in the school.

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