A father of a Grossmont Union High School District student is suing the district for refusing him access to his child's school because he is a registered sex offender.
The lawsuit, filed in Superior Court on November 18, alleges that school administrators at his son's high school (not mentioned due to privacy issues) are violating state law that guarantees access to parents and guardians for purposes of attending parent-teacher conferences, performances, and other school-related functions and business. The lawsuit claims that Grossmont Unified High School District's policy to prohibit registered sex offenders from entering campuses on legitimate business is overly restrictive.
According to the complaint, the father, referred to as John Doe in the lawsuit, notified his son's principal that he was a registered sex offender and sought permission to enter campus in order to transport his son to and from school, as well as to attend conferences and other events.
In October of this year, assistant superintendent Theresa Kemper responded, stating that sex offenders are "not allowed into any school building or upon any school grounds without lawful business" except in case of medical emergency and/or a family emergency. Kemper recommended that the father use the shopping center adjacent to the high school for transportation purposes.
The father was also told that the only way around the policy is to give a 14-day notice to the principal and parents of every student of the intended visit.
California Section 626.81 does outlaw registered sex offenders from school grounds if visiting "without lawful business" and does require that those who wish to volunteer without any family members attending the school obtain written permission from parents. The law, however, does not impose any restrictions for those parents and registered offenders who have lawful business.
Reads the lawsuit, "Since neither Section 626.81 nor any other provision of law requires public notice when a parent accesses the grounds of his or her child's school, it is unclear whether the principal was simply misstating the law or identifying another policy unique to the district."
The man is asking that a court force the district to amend their policy and to issue an injunction that would prohibit the district from enforcing similar policies.
District offices are currently closed for the holiday. Requests for comment were not returned.