QUINCY, Ill. (CNN) — In Illinois, child sex offenders are not allowed to live near a school, but there is no such law pertaining to school bus stops.
With school already underway in parts of state, and with other schools expected to start next week, that “loophole” in the law is concerning parents.
Parents Danny and Amy Smith walk the same three-block route their son Daniel will make as he heads to the bus stop.
“He’s 5 years old. He’s our baby. He’s our first born.”
But the first day jitters for Daniel are nothing compared to the fears his parents are now facing, knowing their son’s bus stop is just feet from not onebut three registered sex offenders.
“It just scares us to death knowing our 5-year-old is supposed to stand on a corner so close to that.”
After finding that out, Danny says he immediately went online and was surprised to find out that there is currently no law in Illinois pertaining to how close a school bus stop can be to a sex offenders’ home.
“The bus stop is so close; all they’d have to do is look out their window. It’s right there on the corner. It’s too close for my comfort level.”
In fact, a bill was introduced in the Illinois house back in 2015 to make it unlawful for a registered child sex offender to reside within 500 feet of a school bus stop, but that proposed law never made it to the floor for a vote.
So now, that responsibility has fallen on the parents to do their due diligence.
“The bus stop shouldn’t be picked by a computer system, but what’s best for the students and what’s keeping their safety in mind, not only how far they have to walk but where they are walking, and the environment they’re walking in.”
Quincy Public School District’s spokesperson says they understand the Smith family’s concerns, and they are in contact with them, however, they will still use the corner bus stop…for now.
Parents can search out neighborhood sex offenders by using the Illinois Sex Offender Registry.
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