An eastern Iowa school district is reexamining its policies after letting a convicted sex offender volunteer there.
Mid-Prairie School Board officials say they’re on track to have new rules for volunteers in place this August. Ryan Schlabaugh co-chairs the committee that’s drafting the new policy for the district. He says the 30-member group doesn’t want to rush the process.
“The goal is to get it right,” Schlabaugh says. “We can…rush this thing through and have a document and put it in front of the school board very quickly, but it’s not going to be a document that’s been vetted.” The district has schools in Wellman, Kalona and West Chester. The team working on the new rules is comprised of teachers, law enforcement, elected officials and lawyers. Schlabaugh says other school systems are watching this process.
“As we move forward and implement a policy here in August and September, that’s going to be looked at by attorneys and other administrators as to how can that be implemented into our school district to better protect our students, in any district in Iowa.”
Trent Yoder was removed from the state’s sex offender list in 2008 and began volunteering in the Mid-Prairie district in 2015. Though school officials knew his background, it wasn’t made public until April in reports by the Des Moines Register. School board officials say the rules are on track for a final vote on August 27th, two days after the fall semester starts.
(Thanks to Kate Payne, Iowa Public Radio)