Sex Offender RegulationsEvan Kruegel | 12/28/2012
North Dakota is one of just a handful of states with no law prohibiting sex offenders from living near schools or daycares, and that makes parents very uneasy.
"It`s disgusting. Itís disturbing. I canít believe North Dakota law enforcement even allows them near the schools. I understand they have rights as a human, but our children should have rights to safety and to feel safe as well," said parent Pamela Enno.
According to the Attorney General`s office, seven convicted sex offenders live within one mile of the Williston middle school, including a high-risk child offender. Parents know offenders are out there, but having them so close to their children is alarming.
"You`re going to find offenders everywhere you go, but within such a close proximity to a school is unacceptable to me," said parent Jennifer Loomer.
Residents on social media were equally disturbed by the loose regulations. One man said, "As a single father of a six year old, that makes me sick."
Another said, "This is just wrong. I thought there were laws about the distance from schools, this is disgusting."
Williston police released a statement saying convicted sex offenders have always been released back into society once they serve their sentence. And it`s their duty to inform the public when an offender moves to the area. But by state law, there`s not much else they can do. For parents, the only option is to make their children aware of the situation and try to keep them a safe distance away from the offenders.
"That`s pretty much all we can do, and I guess our children`s freedom is gone too, because I don`t feel comfortable letting my children walk to and from school now."
Police say until the state legislature makes some changes, the situation will remain the same.
If you`d like to know whether any registered sex offenders live close to you, you can visit the North Dakota Attorney General`s website at www.sexoffender.nd.gov.