If your child’s classmate had a history of sexually abusing children, would you want to know? Either way, it may not matter. Juveniles in North Carolina are protected by a strict right to privacy, even when they have a history of committing violent crimes. South Carolinas laws are geared more towards informing the public. However, in North Carolina, lawmakers feel a juvenile’s right to privacy outweighs the public’s right to know about their criminal history.
There could be a student sex offender in your child’s classroom but you’d never know. One foster parent tells us, “They have a right to their privacy, they’re still children.” In fact, North Carolina law strictly protects the privacy of all juvenile offenders, including teens who have committed violent sex crimes.We spoke with a woman who is specially certified to foster high-risk juvenile offenders and chose to conceal her identity. Her training is designed to help offenders turn their lives around, especially those who have committed sex offenses.
She tells us, “There are a lot of children in the foster care system with sex offenses, they’re a hard to place child. That’s one of the reasons why I do foster care. I know by going to court weekly that there are a lot of kids in the system that are having these charges.”Court ordered probation for teen offenders often requires them to have constant supervision, even while attending public schools.
Asheville City School principal, Greg Townsend, tells us administrators also develop their own type of safety plan for each of these high-risk students. Townsend says, “There is that level of supervision where we’re even tracking a student through the hallway, sometimes it’s an actual escort.” According to North Carolina state statute, when a student commits an “Offense that would be considered a felony in Adult Court…..the Division of Juvenile Justice DJJ is required to notify the school principal. Foster parents and/or the students parent/guardian is also expected to communicate with school officials, but that doesnt always happen.
The foster parent we spoke with says, “If that were my foster child, I would definitely go to the school counselor and notify them.”