The Coast News Group

School counsel drafts sex offender policy

RANCHO SANTA FE — The Rancho Santa Fe School Board tasked general counsel Richard Currier to put together a board policy about how to deal with sex offenders who come on campus.
He went a step further. A draft of the new policy covers not just sex offenders, but any potentially dangerous resident or visitor.
A draft of the policy was presented to the board at its May 6 meeting and the board seemed pleased with the result.
“We think you put together something meaningful for our school,” board member Jim Depolo told Currier.
Currier said that while no one with convictions of violent acts, drugs and sex offenses are allowed to work at California schools, there is the matter of people who have children in the district or visit the district for some reason or are residents of the area. That is why he expanded the umbrella.
The new policy states:
— The superintendent will make available materials to parents and pupils designed to help them protect themselves from potentially dangerous people.
— The superintendent or designee will contact law enforcement agencies each year to determine whether potentially dangerous individuals reside in or visit the community and also check websites that identify people who pose a risk to children.
— In addition, the school officials will monitor the conditions of those on parole or probation, so that violations can be reported immediately.
— Finally, the superintendent or designee may share information about the person in question, in a manner approved by law and in consultation with law enforcement officials.
Currier was asked to write the policy after parents Dr. Jonathon and Ashley Haynes became uncomfortable seeing a female sex offender, who has four children in the school district, on campus several times unsupervised. The woman, a former teacher in the Denver area, had sex with a 15-year-old student.
She was convicted of sexual assault on a child by someone in a position of trust and continues on probation after moving to California in 2007.
Because of the concerns of the parents, the woman is no longer allowed to come on campus.
School Superintendent Lindy Delaney said she has kept in contact with the probation department since the woman moved to the district to determine if the woman is meeting the terms of her probation, but the probation department is not forthcoming about any other information about those on probation.
In November, the Hayneses brought the issue forward, asking the board to adopt a policy that would give clear direction about how to deal with the problem in the future.
Currier will bring the final policy for the board’s approval to a future meeting.