Bill Restricting Sex Offenders' Access to Schools Signed by Governor
SACRAMENTO – Governor Brown signed today Senate Bill 326, a law introduced by Senator Jim Beall to stop schools from allowing registered sex offenders on campuses without notifying students’ families.
“We must always protect children,’’ Beall said, “and part of that process is letting parents know if sex offenders have been granted access to school grounds. This bill closes a loophole in the law that actually gave school administrators the unilateral authority to let a registered sex offender participate in events on campus with kids without informing anyone.’’
Under SB 326, schools will be required to notify the parents of all students if a registered sex offender, who is not a parent of a child attending that school, is granted permission by the school to participate in school-related activities. The scope of the original bill, introduced in February, was streamlined and simplified to make it easier to implement.
Beall introduced SB 326 after meeting with a group of parents from St. Frances Cabrini, who expressed concerns that a convicted child had received permission from the Diocese of San Jose to participate as an unsupervised volunteer at a parish and school activities. A parent spotted the registered sex offender at a parish festival and reported it to authorities.
Two of the parents who met with Beall said the signing of the bill will increase the security of school campuses.
"Senator Beall has helped create a safer environment for our children and peace of mind for every parent with a school-aged child," Bill Updyke said.
Parent John Hernandez said SB 326 “will allow us to keep a closer eye on our child, whereas before we did not have that notification.’’
And, Hernandez added, “I want to thank Senator Beall for all his hard work from the beginning of the process – meeting with me and a few parents -- and taking the bill through all the necessary steps and getting it signed by the Governor.’’