Dorn to Strengthen Sex Offender Notification Law
OLYMPIA — January 26, 2011 — State Superintendent Randy Dorn has requested legislation that would strengthen notification to schools that certain criminals have been released, he announced today.
The legislation would require that, no later than 30 days prior to the release of a youth, who is convicted of a violent offense, a sex offense or stalking and who is currently incarcerated in an adult facility, public officials must notify the district in which the youth lives or plans on living. This mirrors law currently in place for offenders released from juvenile institutions.
“School officials have the right to know that a sex offender is in their district,” Dorn said. “They need it so they can make sure their students are safe, but also so they can determine the best placement of the offender. Right now, our state doesn’t require that disclosure in all cases.”
The issue has arisen in several districts across the state and was brought to Dorn’s attention by the Vancouver School District in southwest Washington.
The bill, Senate Bill 5428, was introduced by Senators McAuliffe, Harper, Hargrove, Stevens, Zarelli, Pridemore, Shin and Roach. A companion bill, House Bill 1549, was introduced by Representatives Dahlquist, Armstrong, Hurst, Pearson, Hope, Moscoso, Dammeier, Anderson, Wilcox, McCune, Kelley and Smith.
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K-12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Randy Dorn, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine Educational Service Districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students.
OSPI does not discriminate and provides equal access to its programs and services for all persons without regard to race, color, gender, religion, creed, marital status, national origin, sexual preference/orientation, age, veteran’s status or the presence of any physical, sensory or mental disability.
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The OSPI Communications Office serves as the central point of contact for local, regional and national media covering K-12 education issues.