Published Mar. 18, 2013
By Frances Watson, KEPRTV
Registered sex offenders are banned from living near grammar schools and interacting with students.
They still have the right to an education and Tri-Cities students may sit side-by-side with a sex offender in class.
For most college students, passing their classes is the biggest priority. Many don't worry about staying safe on campus.
Student Reana Watters said,"Yeah, we have security but they're not constantly patrolling. So I actually have protection for myself."
She is in her final year at CBC, most of her classes are at night. She showed us the knife she carries, just in case. Reana knows there's sex offenders on campus, CBC officials keep her in the loop.
Maddy Jeffs runs the program that gets offenders back in school.
She said, "Everyone who I'm aware of that is a sexual offender will meet with me."
It doesn't matter the level, 1, 2 or 3, she has close ties with all local law enforcement and gets direct alerts of sex offenders wanting to go to school.
"We have counselors working specifically with them particularly if they have restrictions so we can make sure they're not in classes where those restrictions would be a problem," Maddy said.
Staff members aren't just focused on getting registered sex offenders back on track. They work even harder to let everyone who's on campus. This past quarter there were a handful.
The degree of the risk to re-offend depends on who is notified. Only instructors or admin for level one offenders. For a person at the highest risk, every person on campus is notified well before school starts.
Notification goes way beyond emails. Security officials will post those same safety alerts posters you see released by the police on bulletin boards like this around campus.
Students like Reana appreciate the notice.
She said, "We want everybody to get an education but we want to know that we can be safe and identify our dangers."
Identifying that danger is the first step to preventing it.
CBC tells KEPR it has had some problems with level three sex offenders in the past but will not keep them off campus.
They are offered alternative ways to attend class, mostly through online courses.
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