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The Shawnee News-Star
  • School safety

  • Representative plans to introduce bill regarding sex offenders.
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  • District 26 Rep. Justin Wood, R-Shawnee, plans to introduce a bill during the upcoming legislative session that would require parents who are registered sex offenders to provide notice to school administrators when enrolling their children in school.
     
    Wood said he was approached several months ago by a Shawnee school resource officer who had concerns about parents who are registered sex offenders being on campus without notifying the school or officers.
     
    Wood then began checking into the issue of the state’s sex offender registration and now plans to introduce a bill that would add a new clause to that law, with hopes that informed school administrators can better protect all students in the school.
     
    “This is the time of year we are bombarded by requests for new law. We can carry an armload for the sake of doing so, or we can be good stewards of our responsibility,” Wood said. “When this idea was brought to me by a local school police officer, I knew instantly it would make a positive impact in the way we protect our children. This is the difference between being proactive or reactive, and in regards to the safety of our children, I choose to be proactive.”
    Wood said he has received support from both parents and school administrators, as well as other legislators who are in favor of this bill.
     
    “There’s a lot of good traction with legislators,” he said.
     
    The new clause for the bill reads, “Any person who is required by law to register as a sex offender pursuant to the Sex Offenders Registration Act and who is the custodial parent or legal guardian of a child shall inform school administrators of his or her status as a registered sex offender when enrolling the child at an elementary or secondary school.”
     
    Wood plans to introduce the bill for consideration during the upcoming legislative session, which begins Feb. 3.
     
    Watch for updates.
     
     

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