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Living with 290

Living with 290: School Access

Requested permission to see my son’s wrestling matches and was denied. “Per our policy and your circumstance…” I asked for a copy of the cited policy and haven’t heard back. How have people here dealt with schools and access to our kids extra-curricular activities?

State: CA

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  1. Josh

    I am in Missouri so the rules might be different, but in general, the school must be notified before I go to any events. I have not been outright denied, but the school can do that according to the law. I got permission to watch soccer practice after school. The practices were held at the school fields.

    I am fortunate that my wife wanted to homeschool ours kids so we pulled them out so I don’t have to deal with that crap.

    Also, the principal at one of the schools was married to an offender. There was a huge outcry when this was found out. She has since moved on, but I thought it was good for our community to know that the registry is coming to your neck of the woods. My kids take lessons from the principal’s wife. It is very awkward, but I feel like they don’t really care.

  2. AnonMom

    I am so glad this came up! I have asked this before in general comments, and I received some positive feedback. I have a young daughter and found out another child on the way- they deserve to have their dad participate in the lives just like all the other kids. If possible, I suggest that you get an attorney to help you with a formal records request for the policy. I plan to do that for our school district prior to enrolling my daughter in a few years. I will want them to answer why my child does not deserve to have the same attention as the other children whose parents who could (and statistically) are a bigger threat to those children than my husband is.

    I hope you get answers!

  3. bob

    Its really simple people, If a school has this policy yank him/her outta that school, therefore costing that school $$$$… after all why do you think the school calls a truancy officer as its lost $$ for them !

  4. NotEasilyOffended

    My child is in high school now but, interestingly, it was with the grade school that I didn’t have any problems. The principal provided a letter to me at the beginning of the school year granting me campus access and it enumerated which on-campus events this covered. If there were changes or updates during the year, a new letter was immediately forthcoming.

    Fast forward to high school. Initially, permission was granted and all was well. Suddenly, and without an incident or provocation on my part, the letter was rescinded and with a stern admonishment from a sheriff deputy that I would be arrested in front of my child if I came on campus for anything but an emergency situation. Appeals to the district level were rebuffed.

    I ended up filing a lawsuit, with the help of our very own Janice. The lawsuit was dropped when the district amended their policy regarding RC parents and issued me a letter of permission to be on campus. Subsequent to that, I have not had any issues. The principal, in fact, is quite cordial and accommodating when new events pop up that I would want to attend (events that directly involve my student).

    I have had mixed success when accessing schools outside of our district, for sports events. Some principals are quite understanding, issue a letter, and thank me for being involved and proactive. Others send a denial, which I have not fought (even though researching their district policies demonstrates they do allow for this situation and seem to be welcoming).

    Preaching to the choir: RC’s are not a true issue or threat to student safety but it makes for a good appearance. I would question the safety policies of any campus that fears an RC on school grounds presents a danger because that would suggest you are not properly monitoring students and ALL adults on campus.

    Good luck.

    • Will Allen

      What a wonderful waste of limited resources. I’m so glad that I get to pay, and far more than my fair share, so these big government people can do so much useless work all the time. Makes me want to pay more. Except it doesn’t.

      I’ve told them before and I won’t stop telling them – I will do anything and everything that I can to reduce the amount of money and other resources that they get. I will support all initiatives that result in them having less resources. I’ve been working hard to keep money away from them and I won’t be stopping.

      I read a very interesting article recently that discussed how in advanced societies, it is very important for all people to believe in educating all other people and to all contribute to ensuring that happens at the highest level possible. They even referred to it as a moral social contract (i.e. we are all morally obligated to help all children be educated). They discussed how allowing people to not fund public schools (e.g. by giving school vouchers) was a terrible thing that would eventually contribute to the collapse of a decent, educated country. It made a lot of sense to me.

      But these schools have canceled that social contract. I don’t have any obligation to help them succeed. And you can believe that I’m not interested in them stealing money from me in order to fund their nonsense. So F them. They are going to need some luck.

      Your last (more lengthy) paragraph is exactly right. You should question their safety policies, all the time. In fact, every single time that I had to “ask” a school for “permission” to attend something, I would state/include in no uncertain terms that obviously they are putting students in danger because they are wasting time and other resources to run PR stunts instead of focusing that effort on protecting the students. I would tell them specifically that because they are putting all of the children at greater risk that I will sue them if anything happens. It is good to put them on the defensive and keep them there. The next time someone is assaulted at that school, they should be sued.

  5. David

    I do not have children, but occasionally I do have to go to a school property to attend community meetings, utility company public information meetings, etc. I have been granted access to public school grounds on the occasions that I’ve had meetings at those schools. The only time I have been denied access is was for my electric company’s general meeting. It was being held at a private school. If this happens again, I will be certain to send a letter to the utility company – and copy it to that school’s administrator – requesting that they do not hold meetings at any locations that do not allow all their customers to attend.

    • Will Allen

      Why wait until next time? Send them a letter before they start planning. Hopefully you can affect the planning before it starts. You may also have legal standing to force them to have any meetings in a location where all can attend.

      Personally, I would include an admonishment of the witch hunt as well. There is no reason to let Registry Harassers live in peace.

  6. USA

    Sorry to hear your story. I have 2 children. I go to back to school night/meetings/concerts etc. I’m not on the Megans Law Website. I don’t make it a point to stick out etc, but I do attend. No issues. No, I don’t volunteer.

    • Joe

      Then surely you are aware that you commit a misdemeanor offense every time you attend on-campus school night/meetings/concerts etc. Why do you think that being on the web site makes a difference? Oh, and the punishment gets progressively stricter. Good luck.

  7. New dad

    Thank you for this post. I’m currently going to be a new father and will likely face similar issues.

    Are districts policies public or subject to freedom of information requests?

    Are there any “rights” that registered offenders have when it comes to taking their children to and from school or attending required events?

    thank you to the other California’s for also sharing experiences, hopefully this will continue to show the registry is not “merely administrative”

  8. JesusH

    Right before the school year started they sent out a notice that starting this year, in all schools district wide they were going to be using the Raptor system. ID’s would be scanned on entrance to the school. This is a school district in Southern California.

    They pointed out though that they were only looking for sex offenders, and not immigration status.

    The irony of that is that sex offenders broke the law in the past and completed their sentence. People in the country illegally are breaking the law NOW.

    I’ve always said that children of registered citizens need to file a class action lawsuit. They’re not afforded the same opportunities as other kids because of what their parents need to go through.

    • ReadyToFight

      I completely agree with the idea of all our kids getting restitution for the loss of security and liberties afforded to all other citizens.
      Finding a job, Finding a place to live, all the while doing whatever it takes to keep from being thrown in prison and losing anything and everything in life in the name of the Registry. Families broken by the weight of the Registry. Property destroyed. Threats and Vigilantism. The right to travel stripped away and replaced with closed doors.
      Our children deserve better than crime infested slums and empty seats at school functions when they needed us most in life.

    • Will Allen

      Great reason to keep as much money as possible away from public schools. You can join groups that are dedicated to that. Oppose all public funding. Get rid of politicians who want to take as much tax money as possible. Way past time to shrink Nanny Big Government and their insatiable appetite for money and growing ever bigger.

      It is my dream that one day that schools have just as much respect as law enforcement does. And just as much difficulty in their jobs. They deserve it.

    • NPS

      This MUST be Santa Ana Unified. I know people who teach in that district and they’ve talked about Raptor. That city is gang infested. It’s ok for those gang banging parents to walk in, but an RC? Shut down the school and call the PD. The kids are more likely to be caught in gang crossfire (and their are documented cases of this in that district alone) than to be assaulted by a registered citizen.

      • Will Allen

        Most people are simply just little and idiots. I have little respect for humans and lose more by the day. People who are Registered likely did something bad in the past. People who support the Registries are bad today and likely doing bad things all of the time. They are just bad people.

    • C

      Which school district?

  9. USA

    The raptor thing is disturbing! It only shows those who are disclosable offenders? Or, ex offenders? I typically only go onto campus after school etc.

  10. 290 air

    Homeschool your kids like we do. On average the state pays about $7500 per student per year. So we get the enjoyment of knowing they are losing out on $15K a year just from our household for their lame policies. Plus homeschooled kids get a much better education. Win win situation. You don’t even have to do the homeschooling completely yourself. There are homeschooling groups you can look into.

    • C

      How do you do that – one parent stays home all day teaching?

      • 290 air

        @C
        No, you don’t have to stay home all day teaching. There are lesson plans and say 1 parent may take the English lesson plans, and another parent might do math, etc. Kids are natural learners so most of the assignments they complete on their own. They spend much less time in “class” than at a traditional school. For instance, my kids surf all morning, come home for a lesson plan, then go surf again and finish their work in the evening. It’s way better. They get more active free time with other friends that are homeschooled and a better education because they aren’t held back by other students. Plus no public school thought indoctrination. My wife and I both work.

        • AnonMom

          @290 air, have you experienced issues with the homeschooling groups because of your registration? I have been considering this more and more. My husband is very smart (like many of you, he is very smart, but made a stupid choice) and since he works from home, I would like to potentially explore this option. I only fear that the local homeschooling groups will not accept our children because he has to register.

          I’m glad to hear your children have had such a great experience with this!

  11. Friendly Advice

    Southern California residents be careful. I know we all share the same view about not being allowed on school campuses, however, it is part of the 290 statute. In San Bernardino County you must have a child enrolled in that particular school as well as written permission to be on campus. Being on school property without those two items is trouble – regardless of your reasoning. Now, take into consideration the Raptor program. When you walk into the front office your ID is scanned (several schools in SB County are using this). I don’t know if undisclosed registrants will show as I’m not 100% sure where Raptor compiles their data from. But, according to Raptors website, once a registrant is identified, the school can notify authorities (or the system can send an alert to local police automatically) and you may just have a patrol car outside in the parking lot as you exit the front office. Is it worth the risk? I’m not trying to scare anyone, I’m just trying to be realistic. The last thing anyone needs is another charge. Especially if you are potentially able to be relieved of registration via the new legislation or by a certificate of rehabilitation.

  12. C

    My kids are in LAUSD and I’ve never been to a single school event. My daughter finishes elementary school in June and will be crushed if I’m not at her graduation. My wife, on the other hand, is terrified of the school, other parents, or our kids learning of my 290 status. My kids don’t even know what the term sex offender even means, but they know they love their daddy and he loves them more than anything in this world.
    The school has gone to a “closed campus” yada which means, among other things, parents must sign in when coming on campus. I’ve no idea if they’ll require signing in on a graduation day, but I was hoping to forego permission letters and simply attend without lingering afterward.

    I’d get a letter but fear my status would be shared by busy-body faculty and staff until it filters down to my kids.

    What do we know about LAUSD’s screening of parent visitors for big events?

    • R M

      @C: If your daughter is finishing elementary school, I assume she’s around 12 years old. “My kids don’t even know what the term sex offender even means…”. You’d better be teaching her/them now as “Juveniles account for more than one-third (35.6 percent) of those known to police to have committed sex offenses against minors.” http://unh.edu/ccrc/pdf/CV171.pdf . That’s a scary statistic. That doesn’t mean you have to tell her of your offense but I’m betting sooner or later she will find out (it’ll be better if you tell her than some bully tyrant parented kid at her school). No specifics needed, just say you messed up, apologize, and hope she learns from your past and good parenting.

      If nothing else, teach her what constitutes a sex offense in your State. She has more of a chance of becoming a RC than to be molested by one (I know there’s an article or two on that but I don’t have it at the moment.

      • wonderin

        [just say you messed up, “apologize”]
        I would tend to think the only one who owes this precious little girl an apology is the state of California.

      • C

        Thank you

      • C

        She’s only 10 so, while she’s had a high level talk about the birds and bees from mommy, I’ll hold off on defining “sex offender” for as long as possible. She has my wife’s last name so we’re hopeful to separate my past from her universe as much as possible for as long as possible. Eventually I’ll let her know and, you’re right – it will be better for her, and her little brother to hear it from me than a bully. Kids can be so cruel and I’m amazed at how oblivious parents can be, in general, to their own kid’s antics. Hopefully I’m not one such parent.
        Anyway, thanks for your input.

  13. Will Allen

    It is unfortunate that these schools are not protecting their students. I fully expect that they know that and chose to do PR stunts instead because it is easier and will give the appearances that they need to get the most $$$. Smart people know the public is stupid, gullible, and emotional. So they use that.

  14. steve

    I don’t reccomend this for everyone but this is what I did. I’m 2002 when the list went online my kids catholic elementary school learned of my status. Some parents freaked others offered a lot of support. Met with the principal ( a female) and was allowed to attend all events. Made a deal I wouldn’t use the restroom on campus. Big deal. When my first went to high school (catholic) the principal there was made aware of my status . Met with her once told her I’d follow the same rules at middle school. Never met with her again privately. Attended every event and events at other schools. They all played high levell sports. Never had an issue. Nobody ever said a word. My own personal feeling was I don’t give a shit I’m going to support my kids and if they want to arrest me for that go right ahead. My strategy is not for everyone but just be smart and be under the radar and be friendly. I made a ton of friends through kids sports and I really don’t know if they know or not. Can’t be obsessed with that.

    • E @ steve

      Steve, no offense and I’m glad that worked for your family, but 2002, heck even 2012, was a different world. I have a fourth grader. When he started school there were no issues for me. The issues have all cropped up in the last 2-3 years, led by the drivers license scanning software and fears about “campus security.” Of course, security incidents all have to do with violence, but let’s go after the POTRs!!

      • steve

        They only scan when you are coming on campus during schoolregular hours . Have your wife do that. They aren’t going to scan for sporting events plays graduations etc…

    • Joe

      The general prohibition for 290 registrants to enter a school without prior written permission from the principal (PC 626.81) was part of Proposition 83 and became state law in November 2006.

      Before that there was, and still is, PC 626.8 which makes it a crime for ANY person “whose presence or acts interfere with the peaceful conduct of the activities of the school or disrupt the school or its pupils or school activities” and who refuses to leave the premises when asked to do so, or re-enters the same location within 7 days of being asked to leave.

      Assuming that the last thing you would do is attract attention, your principal really had no legal basis for denying your attendance at the school prior to 2006. Nor for regulating your restroom usage.

      If your kids were still in school after November 2006, you would have needed “written permission indicating the date or dates and times for which permission has been granted from the chief administrative official of that school”. Meeting once and then never again sounds like walking on thin legal ice.

      Then again, I totally get the not giving a shit approach, but that takes balls and possibly a forgiving family.

      Glad to hear it all worked out for you, but advice from 2002 is not applicable today.

  15. Dave

    I am so glad I saw your post. I too live in California and have a daughter in Elementary School. The laws of our state are clear. You are required to obtain permission to be on campus from the school principal prior to being there. I met with the Principal before the year began and introduced myself and told him I wanted to be fully involved at school. He checked with the district and they with the local PD unit. I simply email him the dates, events, and times I want to be on campus and he always sends me back an email confirming my allowance. The emails are more for my protection so I can prove my right to be there should anyone ask at any time. As far as I know there is no provision where they can keep you off campus unless you pose a threat to someone; your prior offense is not reason enough.

    • Joe

      PC 626.81 absolutely and categorically keeps any California registrant off campus (note – apparently this does not apply to visiting registrants from other states), absent written and prior authorization. Regardless of threat level, regardless of prior offense. The current registration requirement triggers the prohibition. This applies to the entire school property and 24/7. This includes not only school business (regular and extra curricular), but also things like voting, emergency shelter and weekend / evening community events.

      The principal may give permission to enter school property, in writing and with specific dates and times. Your principal sounds very reasonable. He would have to give no reason for withholding such permission.

      The emails are more than for your protection. They are the difference between being a good parent and committing a crime. I would hang on to them if I were you…

      http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=PEN&sectionNum=626.81.

  16. 290 air

    @AnonMom
    We haven’t had any problems, but we have a tight knit group and I’ve known most of them for many years, some even before this happened in 1997. Most of them go to church with us so might be why they are able to look past my circumstances and most people that find out the details are shocked I’m still dealing with this. I wish you luck and I think if you do make the change you will find happiness in the fact that you control the situation and there isn’t a school telling you what you can and can’t participate in when it comes to your kids.

    • steve @290 air

      I have experienced the same as you with my friends not believing I’m still dealing with this. I was also convicted in 1997.

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