Florida Department of Education Responds to Letter

In November, FAC sent a letter to the Commissioner of the Florida Department of Education after we had received complaints from parents who were denied access to their children’s school events.

Below is the response from the Department of Education confirming that there is no State law that precludes a parent who is required to register from attending a parent-teacher conference, graduation, school play or other events in their child’s life, so long as they meet the conditions set forth in the Statute (§ 856.022). If you are a parent, not on probation and your child’s school is preventing you from attending such an event, please know the law and remind them of it.

 

 

February 17, 2020

 

Ms. Gail Colletta

gail@floridaactioncommittee.org

 

Dear Ms. Colletta:

Commissioner Richard Corcoran, Florida Department of Education (Department), asked the Department’s Office of Safe Schools to respond to your November 8, 2019, correspondence regarding “children of parents who are required to register as sexual offenders.” The Office of Safe Schools is pleased to respond on behalf of the Commissioner.

For assistance, we contacted the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) office of Missing Persons & Offender Registration. FDLE provided the following information:

We are not aware of any restrictions in Florida’s sex offender registration statutes related to a registrant’s ability to participate in or be present at school functions or meetings. There is a procedure outlined in section 856.022, Florida Statutes, that applies when a registrant plans to attend an event at a child care facility or school.

However, individuals required to register may also be required to adhere to other court ordered restrictions and/or laws in terms of their contact or proximity with children or others, which may impact their ability to attend events at a child’s school.

Factors that could impact such a scenario include:

    • The individual is currently under supervision for their offense and may require permission from their probation officer or may have a court ordered restriction impacting their attendance;
    • The victim(s) of their offense is a student, faculty, or staff member at the school where they wish to attend the function, and the individual is restricted from contact or proximity to victim(s) and/or their school/place of work; or
    • The individual must comply with other court ordered directives, local laws and ordinances, or school board policies.

 

We are not familiar of any specific policies or procedures that districts have in place that may influence these scenarios. Individual districts would be best place to contact for that information.

Should you have additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Ms. Debra Sheets by calling 850-245-7859 or email debra.sheets@fldoe.org.

Sincerely,

Damien Kelly, Executive Director

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