Local Sex Offender Information
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In accordance with the Sex Offenders Registration Act (Megan’s Law), the Board of Education enacts this policy in order to minimize the possibility that a sex offender will come in contact with school-age children, and to assist law enforcement agencies in preventing further criminal activity from occurring. Furthermore, the district shall cooperate with local police authorities in the local community in promoting and protecting the safety and well being of students. Community members shall also be directed at all times to the local law enforcement authorities for further information with regard to any sex offender whose name appears on the registry and about whom the district has been notified.
It is the policy of the Board of Education to disseminate all information which the district receives from local authorities in conjunction with Megan’s Law to designated staff members who might have possible contact with the offender during the course of their school duties including, but not limited to, building principals, supervisors, teachers, office personnel, coaches, custodians, bus drivers and security personnel. The superintendent reserves the right to automatically disseminate information to additional members of the staff, designated supervisors of non-school groups that regularly use district facilities and have children in attendance, parents of district students and other community residents, who, in the opinion of the superintendent, have an immediate need to be notified of such data in order to protect the safety of our students.
All staff members shall be informed of the information received by the district pursuant to Megan’s Law upon written request to the applicable building principal/designee or supervisor. Community residents shall also be notified of the availability of this information. Written requests for such information shall be directed to the district office. Such residents shall, however, be directed to the local law enforcement officials pursuant to Megan’s Law. Community residents shall be reminded of the security measures and the personal safety instruction which exist at the schools. Community residents shall also be annually notified of the existence of this policy and the availability of the information, upon written request to the district.
Staff members shall inform their immediate supervisor if they observe within the school building, on school grounds, at school activities, or at or near bus stops, any individual whose description matches the information which was provided to the district by local law enforcement authorities. Such law enforcement officials will be notified of this information by the district as appropriate.
Community residents shall also be notified to contact the local law enforcement authority to obtain additional information at any time a request is made of the district. Any information which the school district receives regarding a sex offender from a source other than the Sex Offender Registry, and which is maintained independent of the requirements of Megan’s Law, will be made available by the district, upon written request, and in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Law. Such information and requests shall also be directed to local police authority for further handling and investigation.
As part of the implementation of the Project SAVE legislation, the Board of Regents has approved regulations concerning the reporting of child abuse in an educational setting. This regulation, along with the Education Law as modified effective July 1, 2001, established certain rights and responsibilities of parents with respect to the reporting of child abuse in an educational setting. Part of that new legislation requires that a written statement be provided to the parent of the child who is the subject of an allegation of child abuse in an educational setting.
The new law requires certificated school personnel to complete a written report of any allegation of child abuse in an educational setting which must be promptly forwarded to the school administrator (e.g. building principal) of the building in which the alleged child abuse occurred. If the alleged abuse occurred in a school other than a school within the school district of the child’s attendance, the report of such allegations must be promptly forwarded to the Superintendent of Schools of the school district of the child’s attendance and the school district where the abuse allegedly occurred. Upon receipt of the written report, the school administrator or superintendent must first determine whether there is reasonable suspicion to believe that an act of child abuse has occurred and, upon making such a determination, depending on the source of the allegation, notify the child’s parent, provide the parent with a written statement setting forth the parental rights and responsibilities under the law, and forward the report to appropriate law enforcement authorities. This letter specifically satisfies such notice requirements and sets forth your rights as a parent and your responsibilities under the law.
More specifically, in any case where an oral or written allegation is made to a teacher, school nurse, school guidance counselor, school psychologist, school social worker, school administrator, school board member, or other school personnel required to hold a teaching or administrative license or certificate, that the child has been subjected to child abuse by an employee or volunteer in an educational setting, that individual shall, upon receipt of such allegation, promptly complete a written report setting forth the full name of the child alleged to be abused; the name of child’s parents; the identity of the person making the allegation and their relationship to the alleged child victim; the name of the employee or volunteer against whom the allegation was made; a list of the specific allegations of child abuse. Such report must be personally delivered to the school administrator.
A willful failure to make the required report will be considered a Class A misdemeanor. However, individuals who in good faith comply with the reporting requirements will be entitled to immunity from any civil liability which might otherwise result from such action.
Upon receipt of the written report, the administrator must first determine whether there is “reasonable suspicion” to believe that such an act of child abuse has occurred. The administrator must also forward a written report to relevant law enforcement authorities and refer such report to the Commissioner of Education.
Any failure to submit a written report of child abuse to an appropriate law enforcement authority as required by law, whether or not willful, shall be punishable by a civil penalty of up to $5,000 upon administrative determination by the Commissioner of Education.
Reports and other written material submitted pursuant to this law with regard to allegations of child abuse in an educational setting, and photographs taken concerning such reports that are in the possession of any person legally authorized to receive such information shall be confidential and shall not be redisclosed except to law enforcement authorities involved in an investigation or as expressly authorized by law or pursuant to a Court ordered subpoena.
If an indictment or conviction should occur after a report is made, the District Attorney is required to notify the Superintendent of the district where the acts of child abuse occurred and the school district where the child is attending, if different. The District Attorney must also notify the Commissioner of Education in the event a license or certified school employee is convicted of any crime involving child abuse in an educational setting.
The Commissioner, upon receiving notice of the conviction, shall then make a determination as to whether the individual possesses good moral character in accordance with Part 83 of the New York Code of Rules and Regulations. The district shall similarly consider the applicability of Education Law Section 3020-a with respect to further disciplinary proceedings.
The Superintendent or other school administrator shall not make any agreement to withhold from law enforcement authorities, the Superintendent or the Commissioner, where appropriate, information concerning allegations of child abuse in an educational setting against an employee or volunteer in exchange for that individual’s resignation or voluntary suspension from his or her position.
If the Superintendent or school administrator makes such an agreement violative of this prohibition against “silent resignations,” it shall constitute a Class E felony, and shall be punishable by a civil penalty of up to $20,000.
Please contact the Pupil Services office at 773-8816 for further information.