Greencastle Schools examining new sex offender policy
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.