Parents wonder why police won't identify sex offender
Published Wednesday, November 28, 2012 7:00PM AST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 28, 2012 7:16PM AST
Police still won’t release the identity of a sex offender living near an elementary school in Dartmouth, N.S., but the Halifax Regional School Board is now commenting on the case.
Last week, police notified the principal at South Woodside Elementary that a man with a criminal record that includes sexual assault was living directly across from the school, but parents weren’t informed.
The school board says they are leaving that up to police.
Meanwhile, as more parents learn about the convicted sex offender living in their neighbourhood, more students are being accompanied to school.
“I am scared. My two kids normally walk to and from school,” says parent Hanie Digout. “Not anymore.”
“I am surprised, after it has been on the news for two days, that it sill hasn’t been released – his picture, his name,” says Digout. “The justice system just isn’t on our side in this case.”
“Children are at risk when offenders are living that close to a school,” says parent Ann McGrath. “It actually terrifies me because we have a little one that goes here.”
The Halifax Regional School Board says the school was directed by police and that only staff were told about the new neighbour.
“Police said at that point they did not need the information to be shared any further,” says school board spokesman Doug Hadley.
“So, as far as the school is concerned, it’s a matter for police to decide whether they notify the greater community.”
Some parents say they have a right to know if public safety is at risk.
“My concern is that the convicted party has more rights than the individuals who they are trying to protect, and that’s where we’ve gone as a society,” says parent Shawn McGrath. “We need to change that.”
The school board has a regularly scheduled meeting Wednesday night, but the issue isn’t on the agenda.
Police say they are still reviewing how the situation was handled.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kelland Sundahl
The Halifax Regional School Board confirms a police officer dropped by South Woodside Elementary School about a week ago to inform staff a sex offender had moved into the neighbourhood.