Sex offenders; prohibiting entry onto school or other property, hearing. (HB1366)

Introduced By

Del. Jeff Campbell (R-Marion)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Sex offenses prohibiting entry onto school or other property; hearing. Provides that a sex offender who is prohibited from entering upon school or child day center property who petitions the circuit court for permission to enter such property must cause notice of the time and place of the hearing on his petition to be published once a week for two successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation. The bill provides that the court may permit any person who attends the hearing to testify regarding the petition. The bill also requires that for a public school the petitioner must provide notice of his petition to the chairman of the school board in addition to the superintendent of public instruction. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Passed


12/04/2014Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/14/15 15101126D
12/04/2014Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/13/2015Assigned Courts sub: Criminal Law
01/19/2015Subcommittee recommends reporting (11-Y 0-N)
01/28/2015Reported from Courts of Justice (21-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/30/2015Read first time
02/02/2015Read second time and engrossed
02/03/2015Read third time and passed House BLOCK VOTE (98-Y 0-N)
02/03/2015VOTE: BLOCK VOTE PASSAGE (98-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/04/2015Constitutional reading dispensed
02/04/2015Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
02/16/2015Reported from Courts of Justice with amendment (13-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/17/2015Constitutional reading dispensed (38-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/18/2015Read third time
02/18/2015Reading of amendment waived
02/18/2015Committee amendment agreed to
02/18/2015Engrossed by Senate as amended
02/18/2015Passed Senate with amendment (38-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/19/2015Placed on Calendar
02/20/2015Passed by for the day
02/23/2015Senate amendment agreed to by House (98-Y 0-N)
02/23/2015VOTE: ADOPTION (98-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/26/2015Bill text as passed House and Senate (HB1366ER)
02/26/2015Signed by Speaker
02/26/2015Signed by President
02/27/2015G Governor's Action Deadline Midnight, Monday, March 30, 2015
02/27/2015Enrolled Bill communicated to Governor on 2/27/15
02/27/2015G Governor's Action Deadline Midnight, Sunday, March 29, 2015
03/27/2015G Approved by Governor-Chapter 688 (effective 7/1/15)
03/27/2015G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0688)


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 1 clip in all, totaling 1 minute.


Mary Devoy writes:

It’s already a time consuming and expensive process for a parent or guardian who is an RSO (Registered Sex Offender) to request permission to drop-off and pick-up their children from daycare or school or to attend their band concert, basketball game or graduation. Every time their children move to a new school or district they have to reapply and they could be denied.

But now, Delegate Campbell wants the parent to pay for a newspaper/internet advertisement (for 2 weeks)about their personal court hearing and invites the public into the hearing to object to the parent’s request. Someone they don’t even know but because they are a publicly Registered Sex Offender they are already openly hated.... of course strangers are going to show up in droves to object and then the judge has been pressured by complete strangers to deny the parents request.

This proposal does one thing; it creates a public spectacle of each and every petitioner’s rights as allowed by law.

This bill would allow for a state sponsored “angry mob” the petitioner will be harangued by every person who saw the post in the newspaper, had no where to be that day and who hates “Sex Offenders”. The more people who show up to demand the judge stop the request, the more likely the judge will cave to pressure no matter what the facts of the parent’s rehabilitation and parenting needs are. They could be a single parent!

The end result; either intended or otherwise, by the sponsor of this bill is to allow for harassment and intimidation tactics to rule our courts decision making ability.

This is a recipe for disaster; Delegate Campbell might as well hand out free stones at the courthouse doors so the meddling citizens that show up can stone the RSO too!

This proposal serves no positive goal and it certainly hinders any RSO parent from attempting to participate in their children’s lives and dumps all daycare and school trips onto their spouse.

Family involvement and support is critical to a successful re-entry for Virginia’s former offenders and this bill poses a significant an unnecessary barrier for these ex-offenders!

Carolyn Powell writes:

I would argue that the requirements for a parent to be able to be involved in their kids lives once on the registry should be made easier, not harder. The public spectacle and embarrassment for the family petitioning would be unbearable. Our family hopes to get some type of relief so our RSO can attend high school graduation. Honestly, we have been putting it off because of the potential public embarrassment it brings.

Our children love their dad but they are mortified at the idea of them being the target of kids AND adults talking about them. If an RSO has successfully completed probation and is in full compliance with no issues, they should be given access to be part of their child's education and not have to go through all of this spectacle.

Safer Virginia writes:

The court should permit entry onto school or other property based on risk to public safety, not on the opinions of any person who chooses to attend the hearing. Making a public spectacle of the hearing because it relates to a registered sex offender in no way enhances public safety. Myriad research, including US Department of Justice data, confirms the overwhelming source of abuse – 93%, is from family, friends and acquaintances, not registrants.

Common myths about sex offenders continue to influence the laws policymakers create. For example, sex offenders are less likely than other criminals to reoffend. Yet many recently enacted state policies presume sex offenders reoffend at a rate much higher than the average criminal offender, that they cannot be rehabilitated, and that they generally perpetrate their crimes against strangers. None of these assumptions is grounded in research.
Publication. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Legislating Sex Offender Management. The Council of State Governments. Web.

Not one of the 224 sex offenses would likely have been deterred by a residency restrictions law. Only 79 (35 percent) of the cases involved offenders who established direct contact with their victims. Of these, 28 initiated victim contact within one mile of their own residence, 21 within 0.5 miles (2,500 feet), and 16 within 0.2 miles (1,000 feet). A juvenile was the victim in 16 of the 28 cases. But none of the 16 cases involved offenders who established victim contact near a school, park, or other prohibited area. Instead, the 16 offenders typically used a ruse to gain access to their victims, who were most often their neighbors.
Residential Proximity & Sex Offense Recidivism in Minnesota. Rep. Minnesota Department of Corrections, Apr. 2007. Web.

stephen writes:

This Means no one from the government can have public meetings in schools with out giving at least 2 weeks notice, or they could be dragged threw the courts for failure to Equally represent.

Mary writes:

This is a horrible bill that is devastating to my children. I am mortified as my husband has already missed over 40 events for my three children and the worst is to come. If their goal is to deter any RSO from ever asking for access then this will probably do it. The public humiliation for my kids is not worth it. They should be ashamed of themselves for doing this and they should be making it easier not harder.

Mary Devoy writes:

Bill passes on requirements for Va. school access for sex offenders, February 3, 2015

Should sex offenders be allowed to visit their own child at school? February 3, 2015

At 8AM this morning I sent the following to all 100 Delegates, it appears to have been an act in futility.

Dear Virginia Delegates,

You will be voting on HB1366 today.

With HB1366 EVERY, SINGLE petition filed by a parent attempting to take their own children to and from school will now require additional police presence inside and out of the courthouse, to deescalate the inevitable “Angry Mob” AND media presence. The odds of a violent encounter in the parking lot, possibly in front of the child whose parent has filed the petition are extremely high. Imagine the bullying the child of the RSO will endure between the newspaper announcements and the public hearing, this is a recipe for disaster.

The public outcry and the pressure will result in every Judge in the Commonwealth denying every petition. This I believe is the true intent of HB1366, NOT because parents have a right to know.

Harassment and intimidation tactics instead of facts will Rule Virginia Courts.

Do we allow complete strangers to testify in:
• Divorce Hearings?
• Custody Hearings?
• Restraining Orders?
• Commitment Hearings?

No…and for good reason!

Our Rule of Law does not apply to a select segment of society that the majority deems worthy, it applies to ALL of society, including those who are openly despised like Registered Sex Offenders.

Our courts are supposed to protect the individual liberties of every citizen who comes before it; HB1366 strips that protection completely away.

Creating laws and procedures only for sex crimes that are driven by visceral revulsion can ONLY result in self-defeating policies, unconstitutional laws and cruel punishments, those might look good in a election brochure but they do not serve justice or our citizens well.

Every citizen in the Commonwealth deserves a fair and impartial hearing in front of a fair and impartial judge; HB1366 creates a biased, divisive and skewed environment where a fair outcome is impossible.

The House Criminal Sub Committee failed to even discuss the issues that HB1366, even though I raised very valid points against it. So then it was placed it in a block vote in the Full Committee and no one there pulled it out; it just sailed through with NO discussion and if ANY bill needs to be discussed, it’s HB1366.

HB1366 is on today’s’ Floor Calendar and of course it’s on the uncontested calendar; would one of you please pull it out of the block vote and actually discuss what this bill does to families and our system of law?

If anyone understands how difficult it is NOT to get on the anti-Sex Offender bandwagon, it’s me.

Doing the right thing for our citizens isn’t always the popular or easy route but for successful re-entries, cohesive family units and for justice to be served in our courts some courage is desperately needed here with HB1366 and I hope someone can muster that courage to discuss this bill on the floor today.


Mary Devoy

Mary writes:

It is terrible that this bill passed the courts of justice with a minor amendment. What family would put themselves through this. The whole idea is to make the life better for the children. This is mean spiritedness.

Mary Devoy writes:

On February 16th the Senate Courts of Justice Committee voted 13-0 to move HB1366 onto the Senate floor for a vote with this amendment:
1. Line 34, engrossed, after 8.01-324.
the remainder of the line and through petition. on line 35
The newspaper notice shall contain a provision stating that written comments regarding the petition may be submitted to the clerk of court at least five days prior to the hearing.

This change means that the public will not show up in person to oppose the parent’s petition but can submit written testimony for the judge to review.

While the amendment is better than the original bill it STILL mandates the Registered Sex Offender parent must pay for a newspaper advertisement for 2 weeks straight announcing their petition to the public a financial burden that is NOT imposed upon and other Virginian who is filing a court proceeding. This means the name of the Registered Offender will be in the newspaper (as no process has been laid out ahead of time, who knows perhaps their photo from their VSP posting will be too) so their child WILL suffer greatly from public backlash.

HB1366 unintentionally or intentionally punishes the children of Virginia’s 21,000+ RSO’s and that should never be an acceptable outcome of legislation in the Commonwealth!

The current petition process for RSO parents and grandparents works extremely well because it was carefully crafted years ago to both protect the pubic while allowing for the parent to be an active participant in their children’s lives.

HB1366 has NOT been carefully crafted and it publicly shames the children of our RSO’s.

This bill is NOT about public safety and it is NOT about the public’s right to know who is on school property.

What this bill is REALLY about is stopping the petition process all together in Virginia because no parent is going to want to humiliate their child with a newspaper advertisement.

Shame on the Commonwealth for allowing a bill to stop parents from participating in their children’s lives and that publically stigmatizes children for a label their parent has been mandated to bear.