Tuesday, February 26, 2008


In response to a Saratoga Springs school bus driver’s recent arrest for accusations that he sexually abused two boys, I’m taking action to better protect children. The school district was unable to learn that, dating back to 2002, the man had appeared on a state-run registry of possible child abusers. I will introduce legislation to close that loophole.

When I learned about the arrest and the fact that school officials were unable to access a state registry that could have alerted them to his having been flagged as a potential danger to youths back in 2002, I saw a glaring loophole that cried out for immediate closure.

As helpful a tool as the State’s Central Registry is, it could be even more effective if a representative on behalf of a school was allowed to access it. It seems counterproductive to deny schools access to this registry, as doing so keeps important information out of the hands of the very people who should know if someone’s been flagged as a potential child abuser. Clearly, there is a compelling interest in school nurses – the health care professionals specifically trained to recognize signs of abuse, physical or otherwise, among students – having access to the registry.

That’s why my legislation would add school nurses to the category of individuals who can access the State Central Registry.


Anonymous said...

From the DCJS website:
"DCJS is barred by law from posting information on Level 1 (low level) sex offenders, or those with a pending risk level, on this public site. However, while we cannot tell you if there are any Level 1 sex offenders or sex offenders with a pending risk level in you neighborhood or who they are, we can tell you if a particular individual is on the registry. Call us at 1-800-262-3257 with the name and at least one other identifier ( an exact address, date of birth, driver’s license number, or a social security number) and we will tell you if that individual is a registered sex offender in New York."

Even though access to the registry would help, I feel that the school failed in their knowledge of State resources. DCJS would have told them that he was on the list had they called.

Anonymous said...

The father of my three children is a registered child abuser in the State of New York, and I personally think that this registry should be open to everyone, as it is important that people be aware of who is around their childen. I wholeheartedly hope that someday everyone will have access to this information. If this information were accessible to the public, perhaps it would prevent another case of child abuse. Anything that can be done to protect our children, should be done, no more excuses, no more protecting the abuser.