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Austin Public Schools

Policy 905 - Community Notification of Predatory Offenders

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I. PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to assist school administrators and staff members in responding to a notification by a law enforcement agency that a convicted predatory offender is moving into the school district so that they may better protect individuals in the school’s care while they are on or near the school district premises or under the control of the school district.

II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

  • It is the policy of this school district to provide information to staff regarding known predatory offenders that are moving into the school district so that they may monitor school premises for the safety of the school, its students and employees. Staff will be notified as appropriate and have access to Offender Fact Sheets.
  • The superintendent, in cooperation with appropriate school transportation officials, will evaluate bus routes and bus stops. Bus drivers will have access to Offender Fact Sheets. If necessary, bus stops may be moved if they place children in close proximity to a predatory offender who has been convicted of crimes against children of similar ages.
  • The superintendent in conjunction with the building principal or designee shall prepare or provide safety information for distribution to students regarding protecting themselves from abuse, abduction or exploitation. The school district will prepare a list of available resources. Staff will provide safety information to students on how to protect themselves against abuse, abduction or exploitation. School officials may ask their police liaison officer or local law enforcement officials for assistance in providing instruction to staff and/or students.

III. DEFINITIONS

(These definitions are compiled from the provisions of Minn. Stat. § 244.052)

  • The “Community Notification Act,” Minn. Stat. § 244.052, as amended, allows law enforcement agencies to disclose information about certain predatory offenders when they are released into the community. The information disclosed and to whom it is disclosed will depend upon their assessment of the level of risk posed by the predatory offender.
  • “Risk Level Assessment” is the level of danger to the community as established by the Minnesota Department of Corrections following a review by a committee of experts. The level of risk assigned to a soon-to-be-released offender determines the scope of notification. (Minn. Stat. § 244.052, subds. 2, 3)
  • “Risk Levels.”
    • 1. “Level I” – Risk Level I is assigned to a predatory offender whose risk assessment score indicates a low risk of re-offense.
    • “Level II” – Risk Level II is assigned to a predatory offender whose risk assessment score indicates a moderate risk of re-offense.
    • “Level III” – Risk Level III is assigned to a predatory offender whose risk assessment score indicates a high risk of re-offense. (Minn. Stat. § 244.052, subd. 3(e))
  • “Notification or Disclosure by Law Enforcement Agency.”
    • Risk Level I – The local law enforcement agency may disclose certain information to other law enforcement agencies and to any victims of or witnesses to the offense committed by the offender. There will be no disclosure to school districts.
    • Risk Level II – In addition to those notified in Level I, a law enforcement agency may notify agencies and groups the offender is likely to encounter that the offender is about to move into the community and provide to those agencies and groups an Offender Fact Sheet on the offender. School districts, private schools, day care centers and other institutions serving those likely to be victimized by the predatory offender are included in a Level II notification.
    • Risk Level III – In most cases, the local law enforcement agencies will hold a community meeting and distribute an Offender Fact Sheet with information concerning and a photograph of the soon-to-be-released Level III offender. (Minn. Stat. § 244.052, subd. 4)
  • “Offender Fact Sheet” is a data sheet compiled by the Department of Corrections or local law enforcement agency. The Offender Fact Sheet contains both public and private data including a photograph and physical description of the predatory offender, as well as the general location of the offender’s residence.
    • A local law enforcement agency will generally provide Offender Fact Sheets for Level II predatory offenders directly to the school district.
    • Level III Offender Fact Sheets will be distributed at a community meeting conducted by the local law enforcement agency.
  • “Law enforcement agency” means the law enforcement agency having primary jurisdiction over the location where the offender expects to reside upon release. (Minn. Stat. § 244.052, subd. 1(c))
  • “Criminal history conviction data” is public data on a convicted criminal which is compiled by the State Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA). (Minn. Stat. § 13.87)

Legal References:

  • Minn. Stat. Ch. 13 (Minnesota Government Data Practices Act)
  • Minn. Stat. § 244.052 (Community Notification)
  • 20 U.S.C. § 1232g (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)
  • 42 U.S.C. § 16901 et seq. (Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Program)
  • Dept. of Admin. Advisory Op. No. 98-004

Policy Adopted: 08/26/02
Policy Reviewed: 04/08/13
Policy Reviewed: 09/08/14
Policy Reviewed: 03/13/17
Policy Reviewed (procedures removed): 09/09/19

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