For the first time any home in the Booneville School District where children are being home schooled is undergoing a check to verify no sex offenders live in the home.
Though the Arkansas civil code 6-15-508, homeschooling is prohibited in a home where a sex offender lives. As a result Booneville Schools student resource officer Norman Wilder is using the legally required forms turned in at the administration building to check to see if any of the residents are registered sex offenders.
"My opinion on home schooling is parents do as good a job as public school, or they do much worse. Sometimes home school is home quit," said Booneville Schools Superintendent John Parrish. "In this situation it’s a wise choice. It seems like a common sense idea that probably needed to be passed a long time ago."
A resident can petition the sentencing court of the child’s parent or guardian and the sentencing court may enter a written order specifically waiving the restriction.
Because it is a civil code complaints regarding possible violation of the restriction would likely fall with the Department of Human Serivces, a Sex-Offender Registry office spokesperson said last week.
According to a Coalition for Responsible Home Education website, Arkansas and Pennsylvania are the only states to have any sex-offender related restrictions.
In Pennsylvania, homeschooling is prohibited if a parent has been convicted of a variety of offenses during the previous five years, including "homicide, aggravated assault, stalking, kidnapping, unlawful restraint, rape, statutory sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault, indecent exposure, incest, concealing the death of a child, endangering the welfare of children, dealing in infant children, prostitution, obscene and other sexual materials and performances, the corruption of minors, sexual abuse of children, and drug use," according to www.responsiblehomeschooling.org.