Can parent sex offenders attend school functions?

A California parent, who is registered as a sex offender, is suing his child’s school district, asking that he be allowed to come to the school for his child’s events and to drop his child off, the San Diego Reader reports.

The lawsuit, filed on November 18 in Superior Court, claims that administrators in the Grossmont Union High School District are violating a state law that gives parents and guardians the right to come to the school so they can attend parent-teacher conferences, performances, and other functions.

In other words, he says the district’s policies prohibiting registered sex offenders from entering campuses are too restrictive.

According to the complaint, assistant superintendent Theresa Kemper told the father, who simply wanted access to transport his son to and from the high school and attend conferences and other school-related events, that registered sex offenders weren’t allowed on school grounds except on legitimate business or in the case of a family emergency.

She told him, he says, to use a shopping center next to the school for drop-off purposes.

“Since [no] provision of law requires public notice when a parent accesses the grounds of his or her child’s school, it is unclear whether the principal was simply misstating the law or identifying another policy unique to the district,” the lawsuit states.

The law giving parents the right to enter school grounds, he says, makes no special provisions for cases where a parent or guardian is a registered sex offender. That means a court will have to determine which law takes precedence—the law giving parents the right to access school grounds for certain events or school-related activities or the law prohibiting sex offenders from entering school grounds.

The school district had no comment on the claims or on the litigation.

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Paul Katula

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1 Comment on "Can parent sex offenders attend school functions?"

  1. What was the verdict in the above case?? I can’t find it online anywhere … please advise.

    [Editor’s note: The Ventura County Star reported in March 2017: “The suit against the Grossmont district was tentatively settled as a result of the district making its policy consistent with the relevant section of the state Education Code, subject to the district board’s approval, said Catherine Martin, the district’s public affairs director. The board was expected to consider it in closed session at that time.”

    The basic question was that schools were denying parents access to walk their kids to school or to support them at school functions, which one part of the law gives them the right to do. Yet a different part of the law, not the school code but the penal code, allows schools to bar people from entering school grounds if they’re on the sex offender registry. These conflicting rights need to be reconciled, and that’s what this is about. It was about denying the sex offender’s child her rights for parental support under the education code as the school was enforcing the penal code.

    The lawyers have filed similar suits against other California districts, with the suit against Ventura County being filed directly with the state Supreme Court. But lawyers for the school district, it seems, want the suit to go first to the Superior Court in Ventura County. I know the lawyers are Janice Bellucci, executive director of the Alliance for Constitutional Sex Offense Laws in Los Angeles, and Dennis Riordan, who is based in San Francisco, and I hope that information might help you find the information you’re looking for.]

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