Iowa City school board OK’s plan to educate sex offender

District worked with court system to ensure other students’ safety, superintendent says

By Gregg Hennigan, The Gazette
Published: August 26 2014 | 7:00 pm - Updated: 26 August 2014 | 7:03 pm in Education, Education Rotator, K-12 Education, News,

IOWA CITY — The Iowa City school board Tuesday night approved a plan on how to educate a student who is a registered sex offender.

Following a 25-minute session closed to the public, the board voted 5 to 0 to accept a recommendation from Superintendent Stephen Murley for the placement of the student.

No information on the student, the student’s offense or the building where the person will receive schooling will be released because of federal student-privacy laws. The subject was referred to as “student X” during the school board’s motion to approve the plan.

An option besides a traditional school is the Theodore Roosevelt Education Center, where students receive individualized programming.

A school board meeting like Tuesday’s, which is required by Iowa law in such situations, is extremely rare.

Of the more than 5,300 people listed on the Iowa Sex Offender Registry website, only 23 were K-12 students as of Friday, said Sgt. Scott Bright, spokesman for the Iowa State Patrol.

Murley said the district worked with the court system to ensure the safety of other students and staff in the district in this situation. The student in question will be monitored before, during and after school and often will be with more than one adult during the school day, Murley said.

Murley, a couple of other administrators and the district’s attorney joined the school board in the closed session. Neither the student nor the student’s guardian participated, Murley said.

Iowa judges can waive the registry requirement for juveniles, so there may be more sex offenders in schools than the 23 who are registered. State public safety spokesmen did not return messages seeking comment on that Tuesday.

Murley said he did not know what that number was in the Iowa City Community School District because of the lack of registration and, as juveniles, the court records of such students are sealed.


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