Sex Offender Enrolls in High School


schoolNo one wants to live next door to the town sex offender. Not nobody, not know how. So what happens when it's time for a sex offender to enroll in your kid's school? That's what happened in Yucca Valley, California recently, sending parents into turmoil. The sex offender was technically just a kid himself, and he was legally seeking a chance to go to high school.

And it's not that bizarre a story. It's not a statistic quoted often, but child abuse experts estimate one third of sexual acts committed against children are by another child. Child-on-child sex abuse can be hard to root out -- because sometimes kids are just being curious and experimenting with one another. But in the case of Steven Holt, the 18-year-old who was trying to go back to school in Yucca Valley, it was a clear case of abuse.

Holt was charged and convicted of sexually assaulting minors in Wisconsin, including girls as young as 6 and as old as 15. According to new station KPSP, he was forced to register as a sex offender but a search of sex offender tracking sites won't bring him up because his case as it relates to the registry is currently under review by the California Department of Justice.

But that didn't keep parents from finding out. In fact, the school sent out a letter to families warning them that there was a new sex offender in town. But unlike most letters sent out to parents by school districts around the country warning them to watch out for the predator in their midst, this letter actually said the risk was INSIDE the school. He'd matriculated there, and he was legally allowed to attend. And until the hubbub got so crazy that his parents yanked him out, Holt did attend, right alongside the same sort of kids who he once abused, along with an aide paid to supervise him.

It makes me cringe just thinking about it. Yes, these kids have to go somewhere. If there's a chance of rehabilitation them, it should be done. Without an education there's certainly no way they're going to become productive members of society.

But schools are safe havens for our children. They're places we send them, with the full knowledge that we don't have ultimate control. And so we expect their administrators, their teachers, to care for them like we would. We wouldn't leave them alone in a space with a sex offender -- even one who is their age, even with an "aide." How can a school?

There has to be a better way to do this. If it means society has to pay for a sex offender to be tutored in a private setting rather than attending a classroom, so be it. But sex offenders do not belong in a school building.

What do you think? Is this fair to Steven Holt? What about the other kids in the Yucca Valley School?


Image via shinealight/Flickr

behavior, tough topics


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Sarah Todrick

Most districts have some kind of alternative school as part of their system for students with severe issues. It really is a vital service. As much as,being a teacher, I truly believe every person deserves an education, there are some students who SHOULD NOT be mixed in with the general population. The law allows for a free, appropriate public education. An 18 year old sex offender at a regular public high school is NOT appropriate, aide or no aide. There are options available that keep him away from the population he has repeatedly victimized.

PonyC... PonyChaser


Well. My comment disappeared! Harumph. Anyway...

"If it means society has to pay for a sex offender to be tutored in a private setting rather than attending a classroom, so be it."

NO!!! Why should society continue to be saddled with paying for special programs for criminals? Prisoners get cable tv, free schooling, free internet, etc., and I, as a free and private citizen who hasn't so much as had a PARKING TICKET, has none of that! So now, I have to pay for this hoodlum to have a private ‘aide', and maybe go to a special school.  But if I want to keep my son away from him, I now have to pay - in addition to my tax dollars that subsidize this criminal - for my son to go to a private school, or to be homeschooled.

Absolutely not. I'm sick of it. Send him to a work/study program. Let him work during the day, and then use the pay from that work to pay for his nighttime schooling/tutors, aides, rehab, etc. And if his work pay can't buy the best for him, it's on his own head. Let him feel the consequences of his actions.

Stop expecting the "good" people to always have to pony up for the criminals.

Of course, this is never, ever going to happen, so I guess... send him to the alternative school, give him an aide, feed him, clothe him, send him to college, give him a roof over his head, whatever he needs. And just go ahead and charge the taxpayers. It's the "compassionate" thing to do.

LoLLi... LoLLiPoPm0m

The "kid" is 18 and thats not a kid anymore. They have adult schools this guy can go to.

bills... billsfan1104

How long will he be in Public school and why didnt he get his GED in prison like the rest of criminals usually do? And why is an 18 yr old wanting to go to high school anyway??

Salem... SalemWitchChild

I agree there are other alternatives to putting him in this high school. And no way in hell would I want him near my DD with an aide or not!

butte... butterflymkm

Putting myself in this boy's parents shoes for a minute, if I knew my child had a high pribablity of harming others I would homeschhol him/help him get a GED for his safety and that of others. What on earth are his parents thinking! That's like sticking a bottle of gin in front of your alcoholic child. It's helping him to f up. His parents should be the ones paying for a private education.

nonmember avatar Anon

One, at 18 he should be on his own. He can get a minimum wage job and go to GED classes. Not my problem he offended. Why the hell should I pay for him to have an "aide"? Half of my family was done with HS by 16, so too bad if this MAN isn't ready for the next step. ... Two, what do they do with younger offenders? Kids as young as 10 have been known to sexually victimize other kids. Presumably they go to school right alongside other kids (without an "aide"), and nobody complains about it. And that's probably how it should be, assuming the child has received some sort of evaluation / punishment / counseling etc. But, we as parents need to be aware that our kids are likely to be walking the halls with kids who could try something with them. We need to teach our kids to protect and respect themselves.

Lynette Lynette

has to go somewhere, no he does not, at least not in a school building.  He can do public high school ONLINE.  There is even programs that include a computer to use

mkuebler mkuebler

A GED program seems like it would be most practical.  Although if everyone knows he's a past sex offender, I doubt he will get much opportunity to reoffend.  The most dangerous offenders are the ones who've never been caught.

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