LOS ANGELES – An admitted registered sex offender is suing the Lancaster School District, alleging he is being wrongfully denied access to his child’s school and to be involved in his son’s education in defiance of the law.
The man, identified only as John Doe in the Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit filed Monday, is asking a judge to declare that the state Penal Code does not deny the plaintiff and other registrants access to school grounds for “lawful business.”
A representative for the district did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
The plaintiff is the father of a 5-year-old boy who attends kindergarten at El Dorado Elementary School and is being assessed for special education needs, according to the complaint.
“Plaintiff seeks to be actively involved in his child’s education,” the suit says.
Specifically, he wants to direct the education of his child and accompany the boy to and from school to protect him, according to his court papers, which say he also wants to attend parent-teacher conferences, ceremonies and other “milestones” in his son’s learning process.
On Jan. 29, the district, via an email from an administrator, denied Doe’s request to enter the campus, according to the suit, which says the “rejection did not include a reason for denying plaintiff’s access to the school campus.”
The Penal Code states that a registered sex offender who goes on school grounds without a lawful reason and written permission is guilty of a misdemeanor, the suit states. Doe says he disclosed to the district that he was a registered sex offender and requested permission in writing to enter his child’s school in order to take him to and from home to his classes as well as for other purposes allowed under the law.
“School officials denied this request,” the suit states.
The Penal Code does not give school districts the discretion to deny registrants such as Doe permission for any and all purposes to go onto his child’s campus and exercise his rights under the state Education Code and the Parents’ Bill of Rights, according to the suit.
The district’s refusal to allow Doe onto his son’s school grounds for lawful purposes “is both inconsistent and in conflict with California law” and “an abuse of discretion,” the suit alleges.
Since registering as a sex offender, Doe has not committed any additional sex offenses, according to his lawsuit.