Leyva Bill Restricting Sex Offenders At Schools Clears Senate Public Safety Committee

Bill Would Ensure No Child is Left Unsupervised With a Sex Offender on Campus

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

SACRAMENTO – Senate Bill 26—the “Keep Kids Safe at School Act”—authored by Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino) passed with strong bipartisan support from the Senate Public Safety Committee earlier today.

Senator Leyva introduced SB 26 late last year to protect children from dangerous sex offenders on school campuses in California. Current law allows a school administrator to grant any registered sex offender who is not a family member access to school grounds as long as the administrator notifies parents and staff two weeks in advance.  Registered sex offenders are also currently allowed to volunteer in some capacities on school ground. This important child safety bill eliminates both of these provisions from state law and will ensure that registered sex offenders cannot volunteer on campus nor enter school grounds while children are present if they are not a family member.

“Our children spend a significant amount of time at school and should not be exposed to unknown dangers from registered sex offenders. I have heard from many parents across California that they are concerned that their child will be left unsupervised with a registered sex offender on school grounds. Children are particularly vulnerable, so we should do everything we can to protect them,” Senator Leyva said. “SB 26 will prohibit registered sex offenders from volunteering on a school campus and ensure that a child is never left alone with a registered sex offender. I thank my colleagues on the Senate Public Safety Committee for recognizing the importance of this bill and voting to support children and their families. I look forward to this critical bill continuing to earn strong bipartisan support as it moves through the legislative process in the weeks and months ahead.”

SB 26 passed unanimously from the Senate Education Committee in late March.  Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes (D-San Bernardino) has signed on as principal coauthor and Senator Jim Beall (D-San Jose) and Senator Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton) as coauthors of SB 26.

Supported by the Peace Officers Research Association of California, Fontana Unified School District, Communities United for Safety, California Protective Parents Association, Protective Mothers of Solano County and Incest Survivors Speakers Bureau of California, SB 26 next proceeds to the Senate Appropriations Committee later this spring.