Sheffield to vote on sex offender school visitation policy

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SHEFFIELD, Ala. (WHNT) – More and more school systems are putting a sex offender visitation policy in black and white.

The second school system in the Shoals is set to approve a policy this evening, and they say it will add another step of security for the students.

Current state law mandates sex offenders can’t loiter within 500 feet of school property, bus stop, or athletic event without a legitimate reason for being there.

The Sheffield Board of Education wants it clearly defined in their internal policies what is expected of a sex offender who has a reason to be at a school function.

“If a convicted sex offender wants to come to school for a play, program, basketball game, they must first notify the school principal,” explained Tim Morgan, Sheffield Schools Superintendent. “Second, when they enter the school they must report to the principal or their office.”

The proposed policy, set to be voted on, gives sex offenders who may be parents of a student, clear rules to follow.

Morgan says it adds security for the students, and keeps people away from school events who have no business coming on campus.

“Basically, once the program is over or the event is over, the convicted sex offender must leave campus. The principal will make sure that happens,” stated Morgan.

Under state law, if a sex offender fails to notify school officials, they can be asked to leave or face jail or prison time.

The Florence Board of Education has already implemented a similar sex offender visitation policy.

Other school systems in northwest Alabama are also in the process of drafting their own policies, shadowing state law.