In the name of whose security?

Editorial 6/9

Schools may be designated drug- and weapon-free zones, but they're evidently open to sexual predators.
After a local television station uncovered the May 18 incident of an 18-year-old registered sex offender attending Roosevelt High School as a junior and allegedly raping a 14-year-old special-education freshman in a school restroom, Seattle's media outlets debated whether sex offenders should even be allowed to attend public school.
The parents and other citizens were rightfully angry that underage sex offenders would be in what are generally seen as safe places for their children. The school district has been comparatively quiet on the issue, steadfastly maintaining that state law requires it to provide school-age sex offenders with an education and with minimal notification to promote a "safe environment" for the sex offender. The school district also is required to keep a close watch on its enrolled sex offenders.
Something is more than amiss when the rights of one Level 2 registered sex offender come before the rights of more than 1,600 other students in one public school building. Where are the rights of a safe education for those studying alongside a sex offender, especially those most likely to be violated?
Local law enforcement is expected to notify schools and other nearby facilities where adult sex offenders are expected to be found regularly. Yet a juvenile sex offender has the right to not only attend school and walk the same halls but also fraternize with potential victims - all without the majority of the school population's knowledge.
Adult sex offenders are jailed for years because of their likelihood to re-offend; shouldn't a teenage sex offender who most likely has an even less mature sense of right-and-wrong merit significantly more attention at a public high school? The Roosevelt student had already committed several sex offenses from the time he was 13.
The state law requires that only teachers "supervising" the student sex offender know of his past crimes. But those same teachers - who may have loudly decried the sex offender's enrollment - apparently didn't make note of his acquaintances, much less his three-week dating relationship with a much-younger, vulnerable student.
This criminal case should put the other public schools - nine others are said to be enrolled in Seattle Public Schools, including two middle schools - on notice about the activities of their own enrolled sex offenders. Schools are supposed to protect their entrusted charges. But if public schools can't provide that measure of security from a known risk (to a select few) in their classrooms and hallways, whom can we and our children trust during the majority of their day when they need help?[[In-content Ad]]