Marion County — In the state of Florida, all sex offenders are forbidden to live within 1,000 feet of any school, daycare or park, or so the state would like to have residents believe.
The state law governing where sex offenders can live was passed in October of 2004. According to FDLE, however, any sex offender who was convicted prior to the law being passed is exempt from the law, therefore allowing any sex offender who lives near a school to remain there.
What You Should Know
While citizens are required to follow every law made by man, it seems as though state and government officials can pick and choose which laws they follow. Example: Officials who approve locations for where schools will be built said they are not required to scan an area for sex offenders who have committed sex crimes against children. School officials do not even attempt to check the sex offender data base, not even out of respect for children or parents.
If a location has been chosen for a school to be built and the plans are approved before it is determined a sex offender lives next door, that sex offender cannot be required to move because they have not broken any laws. Sex offenders living near a school that is being built cannot be forced out or bought out of their homes, according to FDLE officials. Essentially, this is putting every child in said school at risk.
The double standard also applies to liquor stores.
State law forbids liquor stores to be built near schools or churches, however, in 2014 Marion County Commissioners voted against the state law and allowed a liquor store to be built right next door to a church.
In summary, many officials are overlooking the laws that were meant to protect our children.