Monday, September 18, 2006
From seattlepi.com: A new Washington State law that went into effect Sept. 1 makes school officials aware if children in their classrooms have been convicted of sex crimes. The new law requires sheriff's offices to notify principals when a juvenile sex offender or convicted kidnapper wants to enroll, but schools may not give parents information about other people's children. So only school employees will be notified.
Some juvenile justice advocates worry that this law is unnecessary because state prison statistics show that juvenile sex offenders are much less likely to commit new crimes than anyone convicted of other felonies. Advocates also fear that juvenile criminal histories could turn teachers against those students or be used to pressure them to move if school districts don't develop clear policies on how to handle the information.
"Not doing it well can cause huge problems for keeping young offenders in school. And staying in school is key to rehabilitation," said Kim Ambrose, a former juvenile criminal defense lawyer and supervising attorney at the University of Washington's Children and Youth Advocacy Clinic.
Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]