The Sexual Offender Registration Program in Texas, commonly known as Ashley's Law, was passed in 1995. The law requires convicted sexual offenders to register with local law enforcement officials and for them to pass the information on to school officials if the victim of the offense was a minor. The law leaves to local discretion the decision on what schools can do with the information. In consultation with local law enforcement officials, McKinney ISD has developed a procedure utilized by a majority of school districts in Texas.
That procedure is to inform campus principals when the superintendent receives information on sexual offenders. The principal then disseminates the information to counselors, teachers and others as needed. McKinney ISD encourages principals to educate parents on how to access the information from local law enforcement. Law enforcement officials are in a better position to prevent mistakes such as inadvertent identification of victims or misidentification of offenders. The information on sex offenders is available by visiting the local police stations or the police department websites or by accessing the Texas Department of Public Safety website.
Please understand that this law is intended to provide information to the public that there are convicted/adjudicated sex offenders in their communities so that they can make choices for their families' protection; however, the public should not rely entirely on public information to educate themselves on potential danger from sex offenders within their communities. We caution against a false sense of security in the belief that we know where all sex offenders are located. If a sex offender is non-compliant, the law allows for a penalty to be assessed, but verification of registration when offenders move is difficult to track.
There is no substitute for always knowing where your children are and for maintaining close supervision. We can all work together to help our children to be aware of their surroundings and to understand how to handle themselves in potentially harmful situations.