PORT ORANGE —
Concerned parents confronted a Volusia County school district administrator Thursday about why they were never told a sexual offender lived across the street from a Port Orange elementary school.
Sugar Mill Elementary School parents were upset with the answer they were given during a PTA meeting — that it’s their responsibility to find out about these things, not the school district’s responsibility to tell them.
That sex offender was Howard Porter, who just last week lived a stone’s throw away from the school.
He was living there legally because he was convicted before any laws governing where sex offenders can live were passed. However, parent pressure forced him to move out.
“I want the school just to put out a courtesy call that lets the parents know when there is an offender that moves in newly,” said Cheryl Fidler, whose children attend the school. “The school knew for a week before we did.”
School district administrator Greg Akin told parents they need to find out who lives in their neighborhood using tools like the FDLE sex offender website.
”But from a school district’s standpoint, it’s not a requirement,” Akin said. “It’s not one of our requirements, there are rules, laws and regulations that we have to notify any parent on any offender or predator.”
He said that’s the job of law enforcement to release that information and the responsibility of parents to find out.
The meeting comes after Port Orange city council members decided to move forward on a proposed ordinance that would require public notification signs outside the homes of sexual predators living in the city.
Tuesday night they agreed to place the ordinance on the council’s meeting agenda next month for further consideration.
The signs would also include the predator’s name.
Last week council members unanimously passed an ordinance that places tighter restrictions on where sex offenders can live inside Port Orange city limits.
via Volusia schools to parents: Not our job to notify about sex offender.
PORT ORANGE —