New NC bill would push sex offenders further away from school grounds

North Carolina news

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – Right now, in some North Carolina counties, sex offenders can live right beyond 1,000 of the front door of a school due to the way current laws are written. Now, one lawmaker is pushing to make sure they’re further away from those properties. 

In some areas, sex offenders could theoretically live right up to the school’s fencing if the yard is big enough, but if Senate Bill 52 passes, sex offenders won’t be able to live 1,000 from the property line or wherever the school’s land ends.  

The senator who is sponsoring this bill says she’s actually had a personal experience with this. 

Senator Vickie Sawyer had a sex offender who lived in her neighborhood right next to a high school. She says the offender was able to live property-line to property-line next to the high school field because of the way the law is written.  

“It needs to be cleared up which is what this law does, they need to say ‘hey, look, regardless of how you get there if you’re property line is within 1,000 feet of the school property line we ask you not to live there,’’ Sawyer said.   

FOX 46 spoke with Amber Stucker on Wednesday, a mom with small children and expecting another baby in a few months. 

“I’m glad that you know, things are being taken into [account] to keep our children safe. That’s what’s important.” 

When FOX 46 told her about Bill 52, she was relieved lawmakers were pushing to further protect kids, especially after what she has gone through recently. 

“My cousin’s daughter was actually kidnapped. She was 14, and a man came up to her and her friend and pulled a gun on them and forced them into a van. Luckily, she fought for the wheel and got away. So the further away people can be from my children, the better,” Stucker said.  

1,000 feet comes out to about 0.2 miles. As a mom, Stucker says she constantly worries about suspicious people coming around her children, even with a distance.  

“It doesn’t seem like that far, and a building can be so extensive. The school that my kids go to it’s such a big property, that the property line is probably much further out than the actual building,” 

Senator Sawyer said this bill will be voted on next week and she believes it will get bipartisan support.  

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