Keeping Sex Offenders Away from Schools

1 decade 6 months 3 weeks ago February 28, 2006 Feb 28, 2006 Tuesday, February 28 2006 Tuesday, February 28, 2006 5:34:21 PM CST in News

A bill in Jefferson City is trying to keep sex offenders farther away from schools.

Principal Vickie Robb of Columbia's West Boulevard Elementary said four sex offenders live within a half-mile of her school. She tries to watch all students, but Robb realizes she can't be everywhere.

"Once they leave our line of sight, it is hard to know," she explained.

The legislature passed a law last session to keep offenders at least 1,000 feet from schools. But, the new bill's sponsor said that's not far enough.

"I mean, when you think 1,000 feet, you think that's a good distance," said Republican Rep. Brian Baker. "But then, recognizing that kids actually walk 2,000-3,000 feet to school, it does put a lot of question marks about kids walking past sex offenders' homes."

Buses will pick up kids only if they live more than a mile from school. Baker wants the law to correspond with school bus policy.

"That would be nice because then, of course, if they live over a mile, then they have bus transportation," said Robb.

A Missouri House committee will discuss the bill on Wednesday.

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