VAN BUREN (KFSM) -- According to Arkansas state law, registered sex offenders can enter a school during specific circumstances.
They are allowed in if they:
(1) Are less than 22 years of age and are a student enrolled in a grade kindergarten through twelve.
(2) Enter the campus for the purpose of attending a school-sponsored event for which an admission fee is charged or tickets are sold or distributed, a graduation ceremony, or a baccalaureate ceremony.
(3) Enter the campus on a day that is not designated a student contact day by the public school's calendar or on a day in which no school-sponsored event is taking place upon the campus, or
(4) Are the parent or guardian of a student enrolled in a public school and enters the campus where the student is enrolled for the purpose of administering medicine, food or personal items. These items must be delivered to the school's office. They may also enter the school while attending a parent teacher conference.
County law officials said the law gives the school the discretion to determine how they handle monitoring the sex offender once in the school.
There are four levels of sex offenders in the state of Arkansas.
Most schools do not post sex offender visitation policy to their website since this is more of an Arkansas law monitoring system. However, if you want to know your school's policy, it is best to call them.
Van Buren recently amended its sex offender visitor policy to include a division of levels.
Here is what their policy says about a level one and level two sex offender:
"A parent or guardian who is a Level 1 or Level 2 sex offender shall be allowed to enter the school campus to attend parent-teacher conferences or any other activity which is appropriate for a parent or guardian, or community member."
Here is what the policy says about a level three and a level four sex offender:
"A Level 3 and Level 4 sex offender who is the parent or guardian of a child enrolled in the district and who wishes to enter the school campus in which the student is enrolled for any other purpose than those listed above, must give reasonable notice to the school principal or his/her designee. The principal or designee may allow the sex offender to enter upon the campus provided there is a designated school official or employee to escort and supervise the sex offender while they remain on campus. The sex offender shall not enter upon the school campus until such time as a designated school official or employee is available."
Fort Smith school district employees said their policy is to escort all levels of offenders while at the school.
Fayetteville school officials said their policy is similar to Van Buren's.