CISD establishes new regulations for sex offenders

Commerce – New sex offender regulations at Commerce ISD will allow registered offenders to attend school events that are hosted by the district.

Board members during a special session Tuesday morning finalized the new rule.

The policy applies to any registered sex offender who is the parent of a CISD student. That individual may be allowed to attend a school-related event, if it's one their son or daughter is participating in. The sex offender must first register with the district, then fill out an event visitation request at least one day prior to attendance. All requests are subject to approval by Superintendant Blake Cooper.

The district's current policy states that any registered sex offender may not enter or be present upon any district property. Exceptions include but are not limited to attending a scheduled conference with school personnel and transporting their child to or from school. Until Tuesday, there was no such allowance for a sex offenders who's son or daughter goes to CISD to attend any school-related event (i.e. football game, band recital) in which their child may be participating.

Cooper plans to submit the document to the district's lawyers to determine proper language before being made public.

In the meantime, notices are to be sent to these parent(s) to inform them of the new rule.

If an individual is approved to attend an event, they are required to check in and out with the CISD administrator on duty.

The school board's biggest concern, according to Cooper, was the safety of all the students at CISD. He feels the new regulations will address those concerns.

Cooper says the new regulations were put in place with the children in mind.

"The child has a right for their parent to see them play. More importantly the child has someone there to support them," said Cooper.