Appalachian State University Academy at Middle Fork
Registered Sex Offenders Policy
The Appalachian State University Academy at Middle Fork (hereinafter "Academy" or "school") recognizes the potential dangers posed by convicted and registered sex offenders to children enrolled in the Academy. In order to follow the requirements of Jessica's Law and to protect children, the Academy hereby implements the following guidelines.
II. Policy Scope
This policy shall apply to all employees and students of the Academy. For purposes of this policy, every reference to "parent" shall include a parent, legal guardian, or other custodian having charge or control of a student attending the Academy.
III. Registered Sex Offenders Banned From All School Property
In accordance with N.C.G.S. § 14-208.18, all persons, who (1) are required to register under the Sex Offender and Public Protection Program and (2) have been convicted of (a) any offense in Article 7B of Chapter 14 of the North Carolina General Statutes, (b) any federal offense or offense committed in another state, which if committed in this State, is substantially similar to an offense in Article 7B, or (c) any offense in which the victim was under the age of 18 years at the time of the offense, are expressly forbidden to knowingly be present on any school property. For purposes of this policy, "Academy property" or "school property" means property owned, operated or used by the Academy, including school buildings, athletic fields, playgrounds, parking lots, school buses, activity buses, or other property of any kind for any reason. This prohibition includes, but is not limited to, attendance at sporting events or other school-related functions, whether before, during, or after school hours. In addition, sex offenders subject to N.C.G.S. § 14-208.18 may not attend or be present at any student function or field trip on or off Academy property that is (1) school-sponsored or (2) otherwise under the official supervision or control of Academy personnel. This policy applies to all covered sex offenders regardless of their relationship to or affiliation with a student in the Academy.
IV. Reporting and Enforcement
All Academy personnel must immediately report to the Principal the presence or suspected presence of a known or suspected registered sex offender on school property. The Principal shall report to law enforcement when the Principal reasonably believes that a registered sex offender is or has been on school property or at a school event.
The Principal shall notify the Dean or the Dean's designee of the presence or suspected presence of any known or suspected registered sex offender on school property or at a school event.
V. Notification to and from the Principal
The Principal must sign up with the Sex Offender and Public Protection Registry to receive email notifications when a registered sex offender moves within a five-mile radius of the Academy. The Principal shall notify the Dean or the Dean's designee any time the Principal receives such a notification. The Principal also shall notify the Dean or the Dean's designee any time the Principal becomes aware that a parent of a student or a student at the Academy is a registered sex offender.
VI. Parents of Academy Students
A registered sex offender who is the parent an Academy student may only be present in or on Academy property, or in attendance at a school-sponsored event, with the prior written permission of the Principal. The Principal shall provide a copy of such written permission to the Dean or Dean's designee.
- If permission is granted by the Principal, the parent may be on Academy property only for one of the following purposes:
- To attend a conference at the Academy with Academy personnel to discuss the academic or social progress of the parent's child; or
- When the parent's presence has been requested by the Principal for any other reason relating to the welfare or transportation of the parent's child.
- In addition, if permission is granted, the following conditions must be met:
- The parent must notify the Principal of the nature of the visit and the hours when the visit will occur before the parent enters school property;
- The parent must notify the Principal's office upon arrival to and departure from the school property;
- The parent must arrange to meet a staff member at the edge of the school property;
- The parent must remain under the direct supervision of school personnel at all times while on school property;
- If no school personnel are reasonably available to supervise the parent on a particular occasion, then the parent will not be permitted on school property at that time even for one of the permitted purposes; and
- The parent must comply with all reasonable rules and restrictions placed upon the parent by the Principal, including restrictions on the date, time, location, and length of the meeting.
- A student who is enrolled in the Academy and is a registered sex offender is expressly prohibited from (1) knowingly being present on any school property as defined in Section III of this policy and (2) attending school-sponsored or school-related activities, except to the extent the student receives the Principal's prior written permission to be on school property to receive educational services. A student who is a registered sex offender and receiving educational services on school property must be supervised by Academy personnel at all times.
- Any student subject to this policy who is receiving educational services at the Academy shall be subject to all other Academy policies and regulations, including but not limited to the Student Behavior Policy/Code of Student Conduct.
- Except as may be limited by state and federal laws governing the education of children with disabilities, the Academy, upon the recommendation of the Principal, may expel any student who is a registered sex offender based on clear and convincing evidence that the student's continued presence at the Academy constitutes a clear threat to the safety of other students or employees. Prior to expelling a student, the Academy will consider whether there are alternative educational services that may be offered to the student. Any expulsion proceedings shall take place in accordance with the Academy's Student Discipline Process.
Voters who are required to register under North Carolina's Sex Offender and Public Protection Registration Programs (N.C.G.S. Article 27A) and are eligible to vote may be present on Academy property only if all of the following conditions are met:
- The voter may be present on Academy property for the sole purpose of voting, if the Academy property has been designated and is being used as a voting place as defined by N.C.G.S. §§ 163A-1045 and 163A-1095;
- The voter must notify the Principal of the school that the voter is registered on the Sex Offender and Public Protection Registry before coming onto school property to vote; and
- The voter must remain at all times in the portion of the school designated as the polling place and the voter must leave school grounds immediately after voting.
IX. Contractual Personnel – Required Contract Language
Each time the Academy enters into any contract or agreement for contracted services, it shall include a term in the contract requiring the individual or entity with whom it is contacting to conduct an annual check of the State Sex Offender and Public Protection Registration Program, the State Sexually Violent Predator Registration Program, and the National Sex Offender Registry for all of its employees who will have direct interaction with Academy students as part of their job or service. Furthermore, the Academy shall include a term in the contract that any such employee found to be on any such registry shall be prohibited from having any direct interaction with students. This provision also applies to contracts with a single individual.
This policy shall supersede any conflicting provisions in all other Academy policies regarding school safety, parental involvement, school field-trips, school visitors, school volunteers and student transportation.
XI. Other References
N.C.G.S. § 14.208.18
N.C.G.S. § 115C-390.11
N.C.G.S. § 116-239.8(b)
UNC Policy Manual, The Code, Section 502
XIII. Original Effective Date
August 27, 2018