‘It’s More Important to Protect All Minors in School, Not Just One’ (OPINION)
Should the felony record of a minor be known to school officials? That's the question.
The Montana Code Annotated 2021 Youth court and department records--notification of school. You can read it in full here: 41-5-215. This code states formal youth court records, including reports of preliminary inquiries, petitions, motions, other filed pleadings, court findings, verdicts, and orders and decrees on file with the clerk of court, are public records and are open to public inspection UNTIL the records are sealed under 41-5-216.
In other words, if someone seals the juvenile's records unless you are privileged to it like the attorney, probation officer, court staff, etc you can't see them.
Could this have led to the situation in school district 2 in which a convicted felon was allegedly able to participate in high school sports? Q2 even reported a federal lawsuit has been submitted in which the victim claimed SD2 "failed to protect her from her assailant".
The one thing I noticed about the law is it allows schools that have a school safety team access to that information. I don't know if school district 2 has one or not. This should be automatic when a felony of a violent or serious matter is involved. The school, all administrators, and the teachers and counselors should all be informed.
As I said this morning it's more important to protect ALL of the minors, not just one. Parents need to know that their kids are in a safe and drug-free environment and we should provide them the tools to do it, including the felony records of a serious offender.
We will watch this closely and make sure that if anyone was privy to this info and did not go by the code of conduct, they are held accountable.
See ya tomorrow at 5 a.m.