DHR checking for sex offender status on daycare employees

DHR checking for sex offender status on daycare employees

DHR checking daycares for sex offenders?

It's the latest development after WAFF 48 News exposed a daycare center allowing a sex offender on the property.

The letters were sent out recently, and now owners and employees have 10 days to respond.

It requires names and addresses, and whether they have any relation to a registered sex offender.

WAFF 48's Robyn McGlohn has the story in this Investigators Report.

Just a few days ago, Brenda Tackett, owner of Montessori Learning Center, received a detailed letter from Alabama's DHR, "Requesting that all of the staff, the owner, the licensee, fill out a sex offender report status on our school."

It's a two page memorandum, explaining the Department of Human Resources policies on sex offenders in the day care and Alabama laws.

After the WAFF 48 Investigators exposed a Valley daycare center whose director was allowing her sex offender husband to come onto the property, DHR admitted they knew her husband was a sex offender and knew he had been on the property.

After voicing our concerns to Attorney General Troy King, DHR shut them down immediately and went into emergency rule-making session.

In the letter it states daycare owners have 10 days to return the information or their license could be in jeopardy.

"In the 17 years that I have run this school, I have never received anything of this nature, so I was really kind of shocked," says Tackett.

The letter requires the center's director, owner, staff person, employee, volunteer and board member to fill it out.

It asks for names, adresses, and a "yes" or "no" to two quite simple questions: "Are you a registered sex offender?" and "Are any of your relatives or acquaintances registered sex offenders?"

Answers are based strictly on the honor system, "You would hope they could track you by your name and your center, and social security, but we don't have to provide the social security. I know they have it down in Montgomery on every single staff member," Tackett says.

It's a step in the right direction that Tackett and other daycare center owners welcome.

We tried calling DHR for their response. They have yet to return our call.