Code of Alabama - Title 16: Education - Section 16-1-51.1 - Comprehensive model policy for supervision and monitoring of juvenile sex offender students; educational placement of juvenile sex offenders

Section 16-1-51.1 - Comprehensive model policy for supervision and monitoring of juvenile sex offender students; educational placement of juvenile sex offenders.

(a)(1) On or before January 1, 2019, the State Board of Education shall develop a comprehensive model policy for the supervision and monitoring of juvenile sex offender students, who have a low risk of re-offense and are enrolled, attending class, and participating in school activities with the general population of students. The purpose of the model policy is to provide a safe and secure environment for all students and staff. The model policy shall be adopted by each local board of education and implemented beginning with the 2020-2021 school year. The model policy, at a minimum, shall contain all of the following components:

a. Application to all school property and school-sponsored functions including, but not limited to, classroom instructional time, assemblies, athletic events, extracurricular activities, and school bus transportation.

b. An initial meeting of all parties immediately upon the enrollment of the low risk juvenile sex offender, and frequent meetings thereafter as necessary to provide for the continual monitoring of the student and a safe school environment for all. The principal and all appropriate school personnel who have received confidential notification pursuant to subdivision (1) of subsection (b) of Section 15-20A-27, in consultation with juvenile probation professionals, shall meet with the student, and the parent or guardian of the student, to create and implement an individualized student safety plan. The principal shall determine other appropriate school personnel to be included in the meetings to assist in defining school expectations. Student safety plans shall outline the responsibilities of all parties in safely managing the behavior of the student and protecting all students. The plan shall be consistent with existing disciplinary policies and procedures, student conduct policies, and mandatory reporting policies. Student safety plans shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:

1. An outline of conditions or limitations, or both, on the low risk juvenile sex offender concerning his or her interactions on school property and when participating in school activities.

2. An effective procedure, developed in conjunction with school staff in consultation with the parent or guardian of the student, for communicating concerns relating to the student.

3. Guidelines for expected intervention actions for high-risk behaviors and for reinforcing positive behaviors based on the needs of the student and the safety of all students and staff.

4. Procedures for the continual review of each plan by staff designated by the principal and for monitoring and changing the plan on an as-needed basis by school staff.

5. Safeguards for protecting confidential information.

c. Continuity of information and monitoring of low-risk juvenile sex offender students over time as the students change schools and as administrators and school personnel change.

d. Comprehensive training for school personnel to take appropriate action upon noticing an increase or escalation of those behaviors in a low risk juvenile sex offender student, both for the short and long-term safety of that student and all other students.

e. In addition to the mandatory reporting requirements pursuant to Section 26-14-3, school personnel shall report violations of plan expectations to the principal when they occur. Upon notification, the principal, as appropriate, shall follow the procedures and intervention actions detailed in the safety plan created pursuant to this section.

(2) When a low risk juvenile sex offender student changes schools, the principal shall notify local law enforcement and local law enforcement shall notify the principal of the new school and, where applicable, the local superintendent of education pursuant to subsection (b) of Section 15-20A-27. The principal of the prior school shall ensure that all records and safety plans pertaining to the low risk juvenile sex offender student follow the student to his or her new school. If the sex offender status or probation or parole status of the student changes, the principal shall notify the appropriate school staff as part of the safety planning of the school. The principal and school staff shall maintain confidentiality regarding these students as required by law. Any information received by a principal, school personnel, or local superintendent of education as a result of a notification is confidential and may not be further disseminated except as provided in Section 15-20A-27, and other state law and the Family Educational and Privacy Rights Act of 1994, 20 U.S.C. §1232g et seq. Any school district employee who releases information in compliance with state and federal law is immune from civil liability in accordance with Section 36-1-12.

(b)(1) The sentencing court shall have the discretion to determine whether a juvenile sex offender classified as having a moderate or high risk of reoffending should return to a public school. Upon making this determination, the court shall consult with a juvenile probation officer and the local superintendent of education to determine appropriate educational placement.

(2) Any alternative placement of a student with a disability who receives special education services shall be made in compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. §1400 et seq., and its implementing regulations, 34 C.F.R. Part 300.

(Act 2018-528, §3.)

Last modified: May 3, 2021