State education officials will create a model policy to ensure all Alabama public school systems are ready to monitor student sex offenders in two years.
A committee will draft the policy – required by the passage of Annalyn’s Law earlier this year — that each local education authority can use for their own policy by the 2020-2021 school year, state superintendent Eric Mackey told the state’s board of education members Thursday.
Alabama has a mandatory attendance law, and it is the responsibility of local boards of education to ensure that children younger than 16 in their districts are enrolled in some form of schooling — whether public, private, parochial schools or home-schooled.
Low-level sex offenders, Mackey explained, can return to the public school system once they are adjudicated, so the policy will ensure those students are supervised and other students are not harmed.
Juvenile sex offenders must submit an application to all school property and school-functions, according to a draft model policy, as well as meet with school personnel to create and implement an individualized safety plan. Additionally, schools will continue to share information and monitor the student through school enrollment changes and school personnel changes. Officials will offer training to school personnel on how to take appropriate action when an increase or escalation of certain behaviors is noticed.
Passed in March, Annalyn’s Law was named after a child victim that was abused by a juvenile in Alabama. As of January, there were 1,305 juvenile sex offenders on the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency sex offender registry.
Members of the advisory committee developing the policy include the state’s Law Enforcement Agency, the Alabama Department of Education, Department of Human Resources, the Governor’s Office, the Alabama Coalition Against Rape, the Attorney General’s Office and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
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