Greencastle Schools examining new sex offender policy

Saturday, October 15, 2011

With a general consensus that state law does not go far enough in keeping sex offenders off school grounds, administrators and board members at Greencastle Community Schools may soon adopt a sex offender policy for the district.

District safety specialist Shawn Gobert presented the school board with a first reading of a sex offender policy at Wednesday's monthly meeting.

The plan received the board's general approval and appears headed for passage at a future meeting.

The proposed policy is simple enough in that, except in certain circumstances "the Greencastle Community School Corporation will not permit registered sex offenders to be on GCSC property."

The policy would further allow school administrators to direct unauthorized offenders to leave school property immediately.

The draft continues, "A registered sex offender may not attend school functions held on school property."

Violations of the policy may subject a person to prosecution for criminal trespass.

The policy does not apply to sex offenders whose names no longer appear on the registry.

Because sex offenders are sometimes parents, guardians, grandparents or other relatives of students, the new policy would also establish a method for offenders who truly need to be on school grounds to still do so.

This would involve the establishment of an Individual Access and Child Protection Plan (IACPP). The IACPP would be a written plan agreed upon by the school safety specialist, superintendent and building principal of the circumstances under which the offender could be on school grounds.

These circumstances could be limited to a particular event, such as a concert or other program. There may also be a stipulation that the offender be monitored by a school administrator or even a law officer.

The process of obtaining an IACPP would commence with an application that divulges the nature of the person's crime, as well as a reference from a respected community member.

The majority of schools do not have such a policy on the books. Greencastle's proposed policy is modeled on that of Vigo County schools.

Superintendent Lori Richmond said there has not been an issue in the school, but passage of the policy would simply be a proactive measure.

"This puts us up with getting the policy in place before we have the issue," Richmond said.

The proposed policy will be revisited at an upcoming meeting.

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  • Really? Do we need this? Maybe a school rule that married teachers shouldn't have affairs on school grounds would be more meaningful.

    -- Posted by NeverChanges on Sat, Oct 15, 2011, at 7:23 AM
  • I think it's a great idea about the registered sex offenders. We need to protect our children as much as we can. The prosecuter's office needs to take a closer look at the registered sex offenders residences also. Many are well within the unallowed area close to schools. there are 2 that is in the 1000 block of the middle and high school at Greencastle. The adresses are on the Avenues.

    -- Posted by chicken on Sat, Oct 15, 2011, at 12:53 PM
  • It's sad that what was once a safe and quiet town for our kids to grow up in has gotten to this place that we have to do this to protect them from predators....sad day!

    -- Posted by concern on Sat, Oct 15, 2011, at 1:16 PM
  • It's sad that this is the nation in general, not only our town. Most all of the towns that were once considered "safer" than others, are changing. Kudos to GCSC for trying to stay a step ahead and adapting a policy to work towards prevention.

    -- Posted by SMEEBS on Sat, Oct 15, 2011, at 1:41 PM
  • I support the fact that Greencastle Community Schools may soon adopt a new sex offender policy for the district. However "Chicken" you are incorrect in your assumption that the offenders living on the avenues are in violation of the 1000 foot rule. Only "offenders against children" are subject to this federal ruling. The registrants living on the avenues are of a different charge. "NeverChanges," not the time and place.

    -- Posted by HeHateMe on Sat, Oct 15, 2011, at 4:05 PM
  • No matter how well intentioned, this is just a waste of time and does nothing. As was detailed, the only thing the school can do, with the policy in place, is ask the offender to leave the property and if they refuse then they can be arrested for trespassing. Guess what? They already have that power. They can ask anyone on school property to leave if they make the determination that they are a danger to children, school property, or other persons on the property. As sex offenders are not required to wear a shirt with a scarlet letter emblazoned on it, just how will school officials know when one is present?

    -- Posted by exhoosier2 on Mon, Oct 17, 2011, at 7:18 AM
  • HeHateMe,You may be right about wrong place and time,but truth is if a person talks the talk,they should walk the walk.Things get pushed under rugs everywhere and here is no different. What have we learned from the Catholic Priest situations? I do support the corps desire to be progressive with the sex offender list.Cant fire a gun in city limits,why allow offenders there? Ban em from town unless escorted by someone acceptable. Tattoo it on their forehead,whatever it takes...

    -- Posted by honestyisbestpolicy on Tue, Oct 18, 2011, at 2:09 PM
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