The Jessica Lunsford Act Goes Into Effect Soon

By: Donna Davis
By: Donna Davis

A law that is supposed to make your child safer at school goes into effect in two weeks, and it will cost a bundle.

The Jessica Lunsford Act says anyone who comes on school property and contracts with the school must be fingerprinted. School officials say most districts probably won’t meet that deadline.

Sam Lewis says he feels better about sending his daughter Chelsea to school knowing the Jessica Lunsford Act is designed to keep sexual predators out.

“It lets the public know who is going to schools and makes parents feel safer.”

Jessica Lunsford was allegedly killed by a sex offender who did work at her school.

As of September 1, anyone who comes on school property from salespeople to construction workers must go through a background check.

Allen Douglas of the Association of General Contractors says the law goes too far by requiring more than a check against the sex offender list, and he says it’s not practical.

“You can have hundreds of people coming and going, delivery drivers, people delivering food. Logistically, it’s hard to keep track of everyone.”

School officials have heard the complaints and say the Legislature may have to make the law easier to implement. The other problem – time.

Wayne Blanton is President of the Florida School Board Association and says, “We’ll get it done; by September first, I doubt it.”

Blanton says the Florida Legislature may take up the issue in a special session.

The cost of the background checks required by the Lunsford Law is also an issue. Each background check costs anywhere from $65 to $80 and there will have to be thousands of them in order to comply with the new law.


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