Juvenile sex offender bill moves on to AL House

Juvenile sex offender bill moves on to AL House
(Source: WSFA 12 News file photo)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Alabama lawmakers could soon pass a new law that would require each school board to have policies in place to deal with juvenile sex offenders enrolled within their school district. There is a story behind the legislation. Raycom talked to the family.

Both the perpetrator and victim are juveniles. As such, we are not releasing the names, location, or time of any of the events.

Raycom talked with the family of the victim that's pushing for the legislation with the agreement her name not be disclosed.

"And at that moment she fell to the floor in pieces, crying," the mother said, after asking questions to her first-grade daughter. She'd just caught the girl alone in a room with an eighth-grader.

"This 14-year-old boy had been abusing her," the mother said.

The family filed charges and the 6-year-old daughter had to tell what happened to her in court.

"We couldn't be with her to touch her and hold her, was, devastating," the mother stated.

The perpetrator was convicted and expelled from school for one year, according to the mother. After the year, the boy re-enrolled in his high school. The mother said teachers were not notified about the offender's criminal past.

"I feel like that was setting himself up to be in the same situation to manipulate another child," the victim's mother said. "They need to be educated, but there are lots of different ways."

The problem? The school system did not have a policy in place to deal with juvenile sex offenders.

The mother is now pushing for sweeping legislation across the state. The bill would require each school district to have a juvenile sex offender plan and require minimum standards for oversight and notification at the school.

"Doing nothing and have the law stay as is and having no policy in place is basically playing Russian roulette with our children when we send them to school every day," the mother stated.

The bill has passed out of the Alabama Senate and a House committee. It still needs the approval of the full House before it can go to the governor's office for final approval or a veto.

Copyright 2018 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.